Family turns tough times into teaching moment


DEWITT, Mich. (WLNS) – A local couple from DeWitt is working towards turning a difficult situation into a positive one by sharing the story about their son, who had to have a heart transplant at the young age of just six months old.

But now, they hope they can help other parents who may be going through a similar struggle.

Jennifer and Adam Zillins say their journey with their one-year-old son Frank hasn’t been easy.

But to help cope in hard times, Jennifer created a podcast to help herself as well as other parents who may have a sick child, and she says she’s received a lot of positive feedback.   

What started as a heart-wrenching journey is now serving as an opportunity to help others. Jennifer Zillins says when she first decided to start a podcast about her son Frank, she used it as an outlet to cope when it didn’t seem like anything else was helping.

“It was so emotional,” said Jennifer Zillins. “I wanted to do something, you know when you have something so real that happens, and you have so much emotion.”

From birth, Frank has been in and out of the hospital for various reasons. But most recently, it was for a heart transplant.

His father, Adam Zillins, says before the transplant, many didn’t think frank would live much longer.

“They’ve pulled us into a room actually one time, and almost, I don’t think they actually said this but very, very close, basically saying that he isn’t going to survive,” said Adam Zillins.

But the Zillins’ didn’t give up and nor has Frank, who the Zillins’ say is now expected to be home with them again around Labor Day.

Jennifer says this experience taught her more about hospital stays, medical terms, and life than she ever thought possible, which is why she wants to use her knowledge to give back.

“I want people to know, hey this is a real situation, I hope it doesn’t happen to you, but these things happen to families,” said Jennifer Zillins.

Jennifer says by creating this podcast, it’s helped her talk about what happened to her family and she hopes by continuing to make them, it will help her heart heal.

“I think the more we can spread awareness, the less afraid, right, we become,” said Jennifer Zillins.

If you’re interested in listening to the Zillins’ podcast, you can head over to Seen on 6.

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