Safornia was born in the late 1930s with a rare birth defect. She was born with her heart and brain on the outside of her body. At the time, it was the second known case in the world. The chances of her survival were less than slim, and her family lived in fear every day of losing their sweet, beautiful girl.
During an era of limited medical technology and experience, long term care for baby Safornia was practically inconceivable. The rarity of her condition raised skepticism amongst the public as news of Safornia began to spread. Strangely, her rare birth defect incited fear. The verbal abuse and physical harassment at the hands of violent crowds left emotional scars that would never heal.
My Last Heartbeat is the true story of author Elizabeth Hayden’s mother’s struggles to shield her baby from the disrespectful curiosity of an unloving world. Even in death, there was no peace for tiny Safornia, as after she passed, graves all across Washington DC were disturbed in an effort to see the rare site. The child could not rest in life or death … but a mother’s love never dies.