About Grant Michael Goughnour and his Gala
On August 5th, 2002 our beautiful son, Grant Michael Goughnour was born. He
had stunning brown eyes, a full set of hair, and weighed a healthy 9 pounds
5 ounces. Like any proud first-time parents, we were nervous about our newborn
baby and the way our lives were changing. We always knew how precious life
was but we never considered that we would have to face its fragility with
one of our own children.
Although we believed he was a healthy baby boy, Grant was born with a congenital heart defect known as Truncus Arteriosus. Grant’s condition was undiagnosed. Grant and Holly checked out of the hospital 48 hours after Grant’s birth and we all headed home and started our new lives as a family. Grant was met with a lot of love from family and friends when he arrived home. The first couple of weeks after his birth were filled with joy and excitement as we adjusted to having a baby and looking towards the future.
On August 22nd, seventeen days after Grant’s birth, our world turned upside down. Grant suddenly stopped breathing and passed away in Holly’s arms while we rushed to the hospital. The official cause of death was congestive heart failure due to his condition.
We wish we could say that Grant’s condition was an isolated one, but that is not the case. In fact, 40,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect each year in the United States. More than 50 percent of all children born with a congenital heart defect will require a least one invasive surgery in their lifetime and twenty percent of these children will not survive past their first year of life!
Although Grant is no longer physically with us, he still guides our hearts and minds to be better people, better parents, and most importantly his spirit inspires us to turn our grief into gratitude.
In August 2007, on the eve of Grant’s fifth birthday, we hosted a fundraising event at Pat O’Brien’s Memphis called Grant’s Gala. This event was developed to celebrate Grant’s life as well as thank everyone for all of the love and support we have received over the past 5 years. Through this fundraising event, we were able to raise over $25,000 to support programs that spread awareness and provide critical funding for congenital heart defect research.
We continued our success with Grant’s Gala 2008. The 2008 event was a highly anticipated and attended party held at Central Train Station in Memphis TN. Through Grant’s Gala 2008 we raised over $19,000.
The third annual Grantâ€™s Gala, held on August 8th 2009, was a tremendous success! This yearâ€™s event saw an increase in attendance, and , thanks to your generosity, we were able to exceed our 2009 fund-raising goal of $15,000 by raising over $24,400.
During the fourth annual Grantâ€™s Gala, thanks to everyone’s amazing generosity, we were able to exceed our 2010 fund-raising goal of $20,000 by raising over $23,500 on August 14th, 2010. It is exciting to see Grantâ€™s Gala grow into the premier event for raising research funds and increasing congenital heart defects awareness in Memphis Tennessee.
All proceeds of Grant’s Gala go directly to The Children’s Heart Foundation, an organization that funds some of the most promising research for advancing the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of congenital heart defects in children. Every Penny we raise goes towards funding congenital heart defect research
Since Grant’s passing, we have continually been amazed at the outpouring of love and kindness we have received from family, friends and strangers. This little angel who was only with us for a short amount of time, has dramatically affected many people. Countless amounts of money and time have been donated to churches, schools, hospitals, and charities across the country in Grant’s memory.
Grantâ€™s Gala was a happy and successful fundraising event due to all of your love, encouragement, and financial support. Thank you for your support.
-Michael and Holly Goughnour