My name is Jennifer Eustaquio and my husband Patrick Eustaquio. We are Hawaii. We have 3 heart healthy children Kaley, Kaci and Kali. We were pregnant with our 4th child and at 20 weeks pregnant we were told our daughter had a Congenital Heart Defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. They had reccommend us to abort the baby and didn’t give us much hope. We had decided to keep our baby and give her a fighting chance. They told us that she would need 3 Open Hearts Surgery and they our hospital in Hawaii were not equipped to do the first 2 surgeries. That I would need to deliver her in the mainland. Since I had a history of preterm delivery they advised me to go to the mainland at 31 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t handle everything by myself and I was so terrified at losing my baby. My husband and I were both working parents so we had to quit our jobs where we were working for over 10 years at to save our daughter. The doctors told us to expect to be in the mainland for 1-2 years because we didn’t know what would happen once she was born. We would rather be a drive away then an airplane away incase of emergencies. So since they told us to expect 1-2 years we had to pack up our house in less than 2 months because we couldn’t afford our rent in Hawaii while we wasn’t working. We put everything in a pod storage until we knew where we’re going. Our doctors sent us to Rady’s Children Hospital in SD, where Kandi our baby would have her 1st surgery. And right across there was the Ronald McDonald House where we stayed for 2 1/2 months. After Kandi’s 1st surgery at 6 days old she was hospitalized for about a month and once she was released to us from the hospital the Ronald McDonald a House said we couldn’t stay there anymore. Kandi’s surgeon said she couldn’t go back to Hawaii yet. So we ended up staying in a hotel for about a week because we had no family or friends in SD and we weren’t working. The cost of living there was high for a family of 6. She we got the ok to drive to Las Vegas and they recommend the Cardiologist in Vegas. My husband had an Aunty there to help us. So we ended up staying in a hotel for another week until we found a house. The 2nd day in Vegas we had her 1st appointment with her new doctor.
Kandi has had 6 Heart Cath, three Open Heart Surgery. Her 1st surgery the Norwood/BT Shunt in SD. An emergency surgery to Widen her Aorta, widen her Aorta and upgrade her shunt. She had to have this done first before they could do her Glenn Surgery. This 2nd surgery left her on Ecmo because once they took her off bypass her heart was really weak and she was bleeding a lot. The doctors didn’t think she would make it. After week on Ecmo she surprised us and pulled through. She spent about 2 months in the hospital. About 3 months later she had her Glenn Surgery and was home in a week and half. For the first year in Vegas my husband hadn’t been able to work because Kand has been in and out of the hospital, on life support so he couldn’t look for a job. We had 3 other kids to take care of.
Kandi is now 2 1/2 years old. She has another Cath Surgery schedule next month on March 22,2016 and her Fontan sometime this summer after flu season. She is doing really well so far with many hiccups along the way. We’re just loving every minute we have with her and enjoying life with her and our 3 other kids. My husband has been working, I stay home with the kids and life is somewhat settling down for this moment.
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