Sanctus Real's former lead singer Matt Hammitt will be releasing a new docu-film about his son Bowen on July 14. Bowen's Heart, which has been in production since 2019, follows Bowen Hammitt, who at nine years old, underwent his third open heart surgery due to being born with a hole in his heart (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome).
This feature-length documentary film follows Bowen through his third major open-heart surgery as his parents struggle with the hope that the surgery could make his life better and the knowledge that it could make things much worse. Bowen's Heart offers a deeply vulnerable view of how chronic illness impacts an entire family.
"Three years ago, we followed our dream of taking something that was broken in our lives and trading it in for redemption," Matt shared, announcing the movie's release. "In 2010, when our son, Bowen, was born with a life-threatening heart defect, his story was featured on network television and radio. Because of that, so many wonderful people reached out with prayers and support. We found so much hope in knowing we were not alone."
Matt continued, "I'm so grateful to everyone who had a part in making it, and I'm hopeful that after watching it, you will know, no matter your struggles, that you are not alone."
On September 13th, 2010, at only five days-old, Bowen endured his first open heart surgery at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the months following his first surgery, Bowen suffered a stroke, cardiac arrest, thirty-six hours of life-support (ECMO) and transient hyperinsulinism. During those first four months in the hospital, Bowen fought for his life, but made it home just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family.
In February of 2011, Bowen returned to Ann Arbor for his second open heart surgery. This time the operation went smoothly and he returned home within ten days. On July 31st, 2019, we returned to Mott for Bowen's third palliative repair, the Fontan. This surgery also went better than anticipated and his basic recovery was, again, less than ten days.
In addition to his open-heart surgeries, Bowen has had multiple heart catheterizations, emergency visits to the hospital and a sternotomy repair. Ten years after his birth, his family considers themselves very fortunate to have a son who loves life, his family and the arts. Despite the uncertainty of his condition, there is great hope for Bowen's future.
The documentary was directed by Lexi and Zach Read and produced by the film company Rhyme and Reason. Bowen's Heart is now streaming on Apple TV, Google Play, Microsoft, Tubi, and Amazon.