Tuesday, January 17, 2017

               Please Help Us Publish "Hannah's Big Heart"

My name is Larry Spain, and my eight year old daughter (Hannah) was diagnosed with Arterial Septal Defect (a hole in her heart) in November 2015 and she had open heart surgery in December 2016. Now she and I are co-writing a children’s book about Hannah’s open heart surgery experience. The book is titled “Hannah’s Big Heart” for two reasons; first because Hannah is a very loving and selfless person, and secondly because Hannah’s heart is enlarged due ASD.

Why Write The Book?
The idea to write the book came about when Hannah was first diagnosed. I searched for a children’s book to help me explain the surgery to her, but there are not any children’s books on the market that covers open heart surgery. So I went ahead and I research Atrial Septal Defects and open heart surgery, hospital stays, etc. and then I broke it down into easy to understand terms, and began explaining to Hannah what I thought her surgery would be like. However the information that I found was more like misinformation and it was difficult for me to help Hannah prepare for her open heart surgery. During that period of time I had other parents reach out to me seeking advice on how to best prep their children for heart surgery. So after Hannah’s surgery was completed she and I began writing “Hannah’s Big Heart” to help other children who are facing heart surgery. “Hannah’s Big Heart” will offer a very (age appropriate) descriptive account of what a child (and their parents) can expect, and is written to help reduce the anxiety and stress that a surgical procedure can cause.

Why Us?
The reason why I feel that Hannah and I are qualified to write this book is because we lived it and experienced it first hand, and because we are very passionate about sharing Hannah’s story and the importance of early CHD detection. “Hannah’s Big Heart” is written by Hannah herself, as her father and the book’s co-writer I am simply putting her words on paper. I have conducted several series of interview sessions asking Hannah about her open heart surgery experience. These questions included; questions about the doctor’s visits, the tests leading up to her surgery, the surgery itself, and her recovery phase. Hannah answered those questions in great detail and I wrote her words down on paper. Hannah is working with a wonderful local art teacher Nancy Maxwell who is helping Hannah illustrate Hannah’s Big Heart. Hannah has established the cover, the back of the book, as well as multiple images for several of the pages. Even though the story is by Hannah, I feel qualified to put the words on paper for her. I have studied creative writing in the past and have successfully completed both screenplays and short stories.

The Book Details:
Hannah’s Big Heart will most likely be self-published. The book will be 30 pages long, it will have between 1,500 and 2,000 words, and it will be written for children from ages 5 to 9 years old. The book will measure 8.5” (vertical) by 8.5” (horizontal). To date we have the book about half way completed and we hope to have it self-published by the end of February.    

Campaign Financial Statement:
I have estimated that Hannah and I will need to raise a minimum of $7,500.00 to be able to successfully sell-publish “Hannah’s Big Heart”. The bulk of these funds will go for; the actual publishing of the books, general & structure editing, a copy editor, a line editor, proof reading services, the ISBN, and the bar codes for the books, as well as for the market, promotion, and distribute our book.

Please Consider Helping Us Publish "Hannah's Big Heart"

Rewards / Perks:
1) Donations of $1.00 to $24.99 will receive an eBook of Hannah’s Big Heart.
2) Donations of $25.00 to $49.99 will receive a Hannah’s Big Heart T-shirt & an eBook.
3) Donations of $50.00 to $99.99 will receive an autographed copy of the book, T-shirt, & eBook.
4) Donations of $100.00 to $199.99 will receive an autographed copy of the book with their name printed in the book (listed as a contributor).
5) Donations of $200.00 to 299.00 will receive all of the gifts (from 1-4) an eBook, autographed hard copy, a T-shirt, & their name printed in the book.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hannah talks about her open heart surgery experience and our upcoming bo...

Please Help Hannah Help Other Children & Families, By Sharing her Go-Fund-Me link: https://www.gofundme.com/hannahspain Thank You!

Please Help Support “Hannah’s Big Heart”

Hannah’s Big Heart is a children’s picture book about an eight year old girl who has open heart surgery. My eight year old daughter (Hannah) and I are co-writing “Hannah’s Big Heart” to help other children who are facing heart surgery. Hannah wants to share her open heart surgery experiences in a way that will help other children feel more comfortable by having a better understanding of what to expect on the day of their surgery. The book is named “Hannah’s Big Heart” for two reasons 1) because Hannah (Sweet Pea) Spain is a very selfless and compassionate person and 2) because Hannah’s congenital heart defect (Atrial Septal Defect) caused her heart to enlarge.

Hannah and I have become amateur heart defect advocates. We are dedicated to educating parents of the dangers of congenital heart defects being misdiagnosed or over-looked by pediatricians as Hannah’s condition was misdiagnosed. For years we were told that Hannah only had a small heart arrhythmia (that would most likely repair itself, in time) and that was not the case. During Hannah eight year old checkup (with a new pediatrician) we discovered that Hannah actually had an Atrial Septal Defect and it turned out that the hole in Hannah’s Heart was quite large and we were told by a pediatric cardiologist that if Hannah’s Atrial Septal Defect was not repaired while she was young it would cause permanent and irreversible heart damage. After Hannah’s open heart surgery the pediatric cardiovascular surgeon told us that by having her open heart surgery when we did we increase Hannah life expectancy by thirty years.

On December 22 2016 Hannah had open heart surgery to repair an Atrial Septal Defect, the surgery went well and she was released from the hospital on Christmas day. The surgery took about three and a half hours and Hannah was on a heart-lung bypass machine for twenty seven minutes. Her sternum was wired and she received three layers of stitches to close the incision. She had a chest tube (to drain the blood around her heart) and three IVs.

I would like to thank everyone who prayed for Hannah, because God guided the surgeon’s hands and blessed Hannah with a proficient procedure. Her pain was well managed and she is recovering very well. I have nothing but good things to say about the hospital, the surgeon and the nursing staff at Riley Hospital for Children (Indianapolis). I was truly impressed with the medical professionalism and the compassionate care that they provided. I would also like to thank everyone who cared enough to help us with their financial gifts. Because of your generosity I have been about to get a handle on my bills and was able to provide Hannah with some Christmas gifts.

Hannah is a beautiful little girl (both inside and out). She is a straight-A student, and she is one of the most caring and selfless children in the world. She loves to sing, dance, and practice gymnastics. She enjoys reading and watching (mostly Barbie and princesses themed) movies, and is a HUGE fan of Taylor Swift. Hannah has a younger sister, two older brothers and a mother and father who all love her very much.  To learn more about Hannah and her family visit: Hannah's Blog or her Facebook Care Page.

Please help Hannah achieve her dream of publishing her book “Hannah’s Big Heart”. The book will be self-published so that we can maintain the rights, and so that we can publish and distribute the book immediately. It is our goal to publish and begin distributing Hannah’s Big Heart by the end of February. After the initial phase of production the book will be available on Amazon, in bookstores, and hospital gift shops. Our main expenses are for the illustration, editing, the actual printing and the marketing of the book. We’ve decided that ten percent (10%) of all book sales of Hannah’s Big Heart will go to a special fund to help low income families with children who have heart defects or heart diseases and require surgery.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Hannah and her upcoming book “Hannah’s Big Heart. To learn more about Hannah please visit

Receive a free signed copy of Hannah’s Big Heart with any donation of $50.00 or more.

PLEASE share Hannah’s story with others and help us get the word out. 

PLEASE share Hannah’s other blog link: