A Naperville mother found comfort in baking and decorating cookies after her son was born with congenital heart disease.
Four and a half year old Micah Anderson has had three open-heart surgeries in his short life.
“Basically the plumbing in his heart was all mixed up and some of his plumbing was interrupted and twisted,” said Micah’s mother, Lauren Anderson.
At just one week, Micah had his first open heart surgery, and then another when he was eight months old.
After recovering, he started having more problems and was admitted to the intensive care unit.
“Early in the morning I got a phone call saying that ‘your son has been – we had to do an emergency intubation,’” said Lauren. “And I didn’t really comprehend what it meant at that time. Now I do – it meant your son almost died, it meant your son stopped breathing and he almost died.”
The little boy was strong enough to pull through. Now the almost 5-year-old only needs oxygen at night and has stopped taking many of his medications.
“We feel very fortunate that he’s where he is right now and he runs around like a normal kid now,” said Lauren. “But we do have to keep an eye on his lungs, especially during COVID-19.”
Lolly’s Home Kitchen
During the pandemic the Naperville resident decided to share her cookie baking and decorating skills.
As the stress of taking care of Micah, two older children, and maintaining a sustainable family life was catching up to her, in 2017 Lauren turned to cookies and royal icing.
“I cannot continue to do this unless I’m doing something that is filling my cup and that was cookies for me and it’s a creative outlet and you get into the zone and it’s really therapeutic,” said Lauren.
Creating the sweet treats quickly grew from being a hobby to starting a business –Lolly’s Home Kitchen.
With the stay at home order, it was a perfect time to launch her baking and decorating course, Lolly’s Cookie Camp.
“I wanted to teach people how to do this because it had brought so much joy to my life,” said Lauren.
The business gave Lauren a way to give back to those with similar struggles. Some of the profits from her cookie sales go toward an organization she started called Mighty Hearts.
“Mighty Hearts is a non-profit dedicated to filling the gap between life in the hospital and your CHD child and life at home,” said Lauren.
Lauren and her husband Preston recommend parents who are going through a similar experience to take it one step at a time.
Though more surgeries are in his future, after a difficult five years the family can breathe a sigh of relief and watch Mighty Micah grow.
“It makes me really appreciative of the whole journey of it all and becoming and growing as we go through really hard times in life,” said Lauren. “Grow through it, don’t just go through it.”
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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