CalebOur son, Caleb was born in a military hospital in Okinawa, Japan. Our fourth child, we had no inkling that he would have any medical problem; hence, our initial shock upon learning of the numerous medical challenges he faced. Caleb suffered from a life-threatening esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula and an imperforate anus. He was diagnosed with HLHS within three hour of birth. He underwent surgery six hours after birth to ligate the fistula between his lower esophagus and trachea since this represented a dire potential of aspiration. The next day he was transported via an urgent Medical Evacuation Flight (MEDEVAC) to California where he spent his first four weeks at the University of California at San Francisco hospital. About seven month later, after enduring chickenpox our son, Caleb underwent his second of the Norwood staged cardio-thoracic surgeries.
About nine months later we discovered that our son had been infected with HIV as a result of the routine transfusion he received following his second open-heart surgery. This dreaded diagnosis resulted in complications to our sonís care since we understood that as his heart continued weakening we would quite likely eventually need to add him to a cardiac transplant list. With his newly discovered HIV positive status we initially scrambled about seeking someone who could and would help us understand.
Eventually Caleb underwent all three stages of the Norwood Procedural treatment despite the fact that one of the surgeries had to be repeated and a fifth and final open-heart surgery undertaken when Caleb was three and one half years old to resolve a troublesome hepatic vessel which was interfering with the cute childís circulation. Caleb was a happy child who was usually found on his grandfatherís lap riding on his Massey Ferguson tractor within several days of open-heart surgery. Our story is related in-depth in my book, The Caleb Years, available at any retailer.
Story by Caleb's father - Louisiana