LILLIAN SOPHIA SMITH

LILLIAN SOPHIA SMITH

Lillian Sophia Smith spent the first two months of her life in the hospital.

At 3 days old, she had her first heart surgery, at Boston Children’s Hospital.

On Thursday, her family would like to have dinner with you. For the first time, Lillian’s family is inviting the community to a benefit spaghetti dinner. The event Thursday at the Topsham Fairgrounds is a benefit to help with expenses while the family lives in Boston during the next surgery.

The cost is $10 a plate and children younger than 10 eat free. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes spaghetti, salad, bread and desserts. The fairgrounds are at 54 Elm St., Topsham. There will be a raffle including a 50-person bowling party at Spare Time bowling alley with everything included. There are also several gift certificates and other big ticket items from local stores and restaurants to be given away.

Lillian’s mother, Brittany Tucker, said she was sent to a cardiologist following an ultrasound when she was 22 weeks pregnant. Doctors found that Lillian had a heart defect.

Tucker said she was asked if she wanted to terminate the pregnancy.

“We said no,” Tucker said.

Doctors have been blunt and straightforward, Tucker said: They’ve told Tucker and fiancé David Smith that Lillian may not survive.

Children with this heart defect need to go through three heart surgeries — more if needed, Tucker said.

Lillian’s condition is complicated by the fact that when she was born at Maine Medical Center on July 24, she weighed only 4 pounds and 6 ounces. After her first surgery three days later, she lost another pound.

Lillian was transported to Boston on July 25 and two days later underwent her first surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. This surgery involved rewiring the heart so the right side can do what the left should, Tucker said.

“We were in Boston for a month, and then we came back to Maine Med for three weeks,” Tucker said.

Lillian, also called Lilly by her family, went home for the first time in September, then was back in the hospital for a week each in October and November. When she was admitted again in December, she didn’t leave.

The girl weighed in at about 8 pounds 7 ounces on Monday, boosted by a highcalorie formula with feedings every three hours.

Her next surgery is Jan. 30 at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Tucker said this surgery aims to make Lillian’s lungs work better and improve her blood flow. She currently is on continuous oxygen.

Neither Tucker nor Smith has been able to work since Lillian was born, and she admits, “it is very hard being broken up as a family” because when one is at the hospital with Lillian, the other is home taking care of their two other children.

“We know there are more surgeries in the future. We’re trying to look at the good side,” and take one step at a time, Tucker said.

“She’s very smiley, very happy,” Tucker said. “It’s nice seeing someone who has gone through that many problems and complications be that happy all the time.”

Everyone has helped Tucker and Smith — their family and friends and even other families who have gone through similar experiences.

For those who can’t attend the dinner but would like to help, donations may be mailed to Tucker’s mother, Marie Tucker, at 25 Loon Drive, Topsham, ME 04086. Checks should be made out to Marie Tucker.

For more information about Lillian Sophia’s story, visit www.facebook.com/LilliansHeartJourney?ref=ts&fref=ts.

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