It all begins with falling in love with your high school sweetheart, getting married,and dreaming of starting a family! Well, that’s exactly what happened. It was perfect until my 20 week ultrasound appointment that changed our lives. Our “little man” was diagnosed with co-archtation of the Aorta and Ventrical Septal defect. Talk about heartbreak. You could have heard a pin drop in the room when my husband and I were given this very scary news. I don’t think I comprehended anything else that was said that day in the Dr. Office.
What exactly is Co-archtation of the Aorta? It is the narrowing of the aortic arch. In my sons case it was completely interrupted in the center meaning no tissue connecting the arch at all. He also had several small holes between the bottom two chambers of his heart. This meant that he would need to have surgery after he was born.
On the morning of November 21, 2011 the day our little man was due to grace us with his presence we got yet another terrifying phone call from our family back home that my husbands sister 34 yrs old had just had a heart attack. Oh, man were we all on pins and needles. Two precious family members with two broken hearts. The beginning of an emotional roller coaster that felt like it would never stop.
At 12:32 “little man”made his entrance into the world! He looked like a normal healthy baby boy, but we all knew that he would under go surgery in the days ahead. Our hearts were weighing very heavy at this point worried about our new born son and beloved Sister at home.
Seven days later our son went in for surgery to fix the co- arch with human cadaver and patch the holes between the bottom two chambers of his heart. Amazing team of Dr.s my son had! He Made it through surgery with flying colors! Yay! Meanwhile on the same day our Sister underwent surgery to have a pacemaker set. She was diagnosed with SCAD. So, the healing journey began! We all made it home with mended hearts! Life was great!
Our son was now 11 months old he was scheduled for a one year check up and we found ourselves in a twin engine plane “life flight” back to Minneapolis childrens because his co- arch had closed off. This was extremely scary because we had no idea how close to death he was. He was the happiest little one year old. He was giving us absolutely no warning that he was not feeling well. Even the Dr.s were amazed that on the inside he was very very sick and not showing us on the outside. He was raced back in for emergency surgery which he came through with flying colors once again! This time they used pig intestine to fix the aortic arch. This surgery go around was miserable. You cannot explain to a one year old that they cannot move because they are hooked up to so much hardware. Iv’s in both feet in both arms and the main port in the neck plus a catheter. It was physically and emotionally draining to say the least. But our son is now four years old and healthy! We are BLESSED and truly believe in MIRACLES!
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