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Identical scar connects Jacksonville mother and daughter together on Mother's Day

11:23 PM, May 9, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mother's Day is approaching and some people say they have their mom's eyes, or smile. But one First Coast family said they share something much deeper.

From the day she was born in North Carolina, Shannon Humphreys knew her daughter Morgan would be special.

"She turned blue in the nursery. That's how they found it," she said.

Born with congenital heart disease, Morgan needed her first surgery at just five weeks old.

"I walked the halls of UNC Chapel Hill as a frantic mom with a baby. I wasn't sure was going to make it," she said.

Dr. Mark Bleiweis performed Morgan's first surgery in 2001, and after the Humphreys family moved to Jacksonville, and Dr. Bleiweis moved to UF & Shands in Gainesville, he did her second surgery there.

But as fate would have it, it wouldn't be long before he saw their family again.

"Healthy. I had no signs, my symptoms, I was sitting at work one day, and just got a little blurred vision and passed out," she said.

In October of 2012, doctors found a tumor on Shannon's aortic valve.

So when she needed open heart surgery, she called on Dr. Bleiweis.

"I can't explain to you how well they took care of us, and how comforting it was to have the same surgeon that I had known since 2001," she said.  

Dr. Bleiweis says it meant a lot to him that she sought him out.

"It is special, absolutely special, that after taking care of her daughter, she entrusted me to do that," she said.  

Now 7 months out from surgery, she and Morgan share the same heart surgeon, and the same scar.

"It's pretty surreal for me sometimes to look in the mirror and realize that we both have this massive scar that we share a story with," she said.

She said it was Morgan who got her through some of the toughest times after her surgery, and now she understands what her daughter has gone through since birth.

"As parents, we always want to know what our kids are feeling. We don't always get that chance. So now I've had that chance. When our kids are hurting, and we feel that as parents, so yes, that's brought us much closer together," she said.

This Sunday will be their first Mother's Day together with the scar, which Shannon said makes it even more special.

First Coast News

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