Award-winning Christian singer Matt Hammitt's family was featured on “Good Morning America” Wednesday, where they celebrated his son’s birthday and miraculous testimony of making it to age 10, despite being born with a rare, high-risk heart condition.
Hammitt, his wife, Sarah, and their son, Bowen, were on the ABC morning show to celebrate the milestone.
ABC producers first featured Bowen’s story in November 2010, following his first open-heart surgery. The child was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means that the left side of his heart is underdeveloped. Since his birth, Bowen has had three open-heart surgeries. Doctors told Hammitt and his wife that children with that heart condition do not have a long life expectancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1,025 babies in the United States are born with Congenital Heart Defects each year. Studies show that infants diagnosed with Bowen’s condition often die within the first two weeks of life.
"That's a really hard thing to do," Hammitt said. "To live knowing that at any moment you could lose your child."
Bowen continues to defy the odds, however, and now at age 10 he's an active kid who loves “swimming” and “rock wall climbing.” He's also following in his father's footsteps and enjoys singing and songwriting.
"Through three open-heart surgeries and all different kinds of struggles that Bowen has had, now we just see this incredible picture of hope," Hammitt continued.
He quoted Proverbs 13:12 and added: "We see life here, and we're so blessed by Bowen and the person that he's becoming and the life that we have in him."
Hammitt also announced on "GMA" that the family will soon be releasing the documentary, “Bowen’s Heart,” which follows an 8-year-old Bowen as he navigates his third major open-heart surgery. The film will premiere at the Nashville Film Festival in October.
"We're grateful for the opportunity to share our story about finding hope and purpose through adversity,” Hammitt said of the movie in a statement shared with The Christian Post. “We believe it's a message the world really needs right now."
“Bowen’s Heart” also features the child’s parents who are “caught in the tension between hoping the surgery will make his life better and knowing it could make things much worse. ‘Bowen's Heart’ offers a deeply vulnerable view of how chronic illness impacts an entire family, forcing them to answer the question, ‘Is it worth giving your heart to something that can break it?’” the film’s synopsis reveals.
The Hammitt family also runs Whole Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit that helps families affected by congenital heart disease.
The Christian singer penned a song for his son, titled, "All of Me," which details a father’s struggle of being unsure of how much hope he should have in his child’s life expectancy when he could be taken away from him at any moment.
"Maybe he will have 'til he's 30, maybe he'll live 'til he's 40. And now I'm starting to go maybe he will get married," Sarah Hammitt told "GMA." "I didn't ever think those things would happen. And now I'm starting to let my heart believe they could."
Young Bowen has released his own single that he wrote titled, “Heart Strong."