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Heart Ball 2011 - American Heart Association

Posted Feb 01 2011 12:00am

Hello Everyone! Long time no talk! Tonight was a night where Kayleigh was lifted up and her legacy continues to touch lives throughout this world we live in.

It was a blessing to be able to share her amazing journey with many people throughout the Wilmington area. Tonight was the American Heart Association's Heart Ball event. It is by far one of the largest and most prestigious events here in Wilmington, NC.

I was honored to be the guest speaker tonight at the Heart Ball and even though I was more nervous than ever, here is the speech I gave along with the YouTube link of my speech.

"Good Evening Everyone

Some of you may know me as the guy with the wild tattoo up his arm who changed Bo Dean’s life by helping him lose over 110lbs this past year.

But what most of you may not know is that just before Bo and I started our journey, there was someone who helped change my life.

My Daughter, Kayleigh Anne Freeman

The very first time I heard Kayleigh’s heart beat, it filled my heart with so much love. But, when the doctors told us she would not survive the pregnancy, it broke my heart in to pieces.

Kayleigh didn’t stop fighting though. For ten-long-weeks…every morning, afternoon and night…I would listened to her heart beat through a fetal Doppler, praying it would NOT be the last time I’d ever here it again.

Three months shy of her due date, on June 23, 2008…Kayleigh was delivered through emergency c-section. At 10.5 inches long, she only weighed 1 pound and 1 oz.

She continued to fight for her life, overcoming the impossible.

She underwent 7 major surgeries over a ten 1/2 month period, with one of those procedures landing her as one of the smallest children to ever undergo…open heart surgery…at only 3 pounds.

During Kayleigh’s final surgery…which was to insert a feeding tube so she could finally come home…Kayleigh’s little heart…had enough.

I fell in love the first time I heard that precious heart beat…and my heart broke into pieces when I sat by her side and listened to it beat…one last time.

On May 11th, 2009, Kayleigh went to Heaven.

At the beginning of her journey, a blog was created to share updates with family and friends, but her story ended up touching hundreds and thousands of people all across the world through the radio, national news and on the daytime show - The Dr’s.

Kayleigh’s story strengthened families through faith, hope and love. Her precious heart gave to more people in 10 ½ months than most people give in a lifetime.

If you’ve ever read the story about the dash, it is not about how a life begins or how a life ends, but how you lived your life in between.

So…I want to THANK every-single-one of you for EVERY donation you’ve given to the American Heart Association….because without the research and the technology of today, I would not have been able to spend an amazing 10 ½ months with my sweet daughter.

Please continue to give…and to help…and to support this wonderful organization.

Thank you from the bottom of my Heart!"

To see the YouTube link, please click below:

Thank you all and God Bless!

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