A child from Crystal Lake, Illinois, was born with a congenital heart defect that required immediate surgery.
During the first month of their life, they were hospitalized in pediatric cardiology and continued to require special medical care after returning home. At the age of one, they had to undergo four operations.
Everly, known as Ivi, is now a healthy young girl with a promising future, but her struggle for health has left a lasting impact.
Her family calls the scar that remains in the middle of her chest a ‘bolt’ because doctors used it to access and improve her heart. As she grew up, she paid more attention to this scar.
In the hope of making her daughter’s medical journey less lonely, Ivi’s father, Matt Buck, photographed her scar and consulted a local tattoo artist to see if it could be reproduced as a tattoo.
Surprisingly, the tattoo artist decided to do the tattoo on the same day, making it his very first experience as a tattoo artist.
Ivi was thrilled to finally have a “bolt friend”!
“I heard Ivi mention the bolt and ask more questions than usual,” Matt said. “My idea was that if I had the opportunity to get something that would be a replica of that scar, we could be ‘bolt buddies,’ and she wouldn’t feel alone.”
Ivi agreed, saying, “He didn’t want me to be alone. He wanted to be special like me.”
When Matt returned home that day, his wife Lauren decided it was the perfect time for her to get her first tattoo! She returned to the same tattoo shop and had an ECG with the initials of her children engraved on the skin inside her wrist.
When they shared their new tattoos on social media, both Matt and Lauren were pleasantly surprised by the positive response they received.
“We received many messages from people with congenital heart defects saying, ‘I also have a scar, and I felt self-conscious about showing my arms, especially at the pool, because of it.
I can really relate to this,'” shared Lauren. “We were frankly touched by all those who contacted us and expressed their support.”
“We hope Ivi can live the way she wants,” Lauren continued. “She dreams of becoming a mother, that’s what she wants to do when she grows up. So, I hope Ivi’s heart will be strong enough for her to become a mom.”
And Ivi’s older brother, Jack, is not left out; he has already promised to get the scar tattoo when he turns 18. They truly are a wonderful and supportive family!