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Ava, born 2015

My baby girl Ava was born on Halloween 2015. After the easiest pregnancy, and a fairly easy labor, I was on cloud nine and absolutely in love with my beautiful baby. The next day, we were preparing to be discharged from the hospital. Before we left, they decided to run one more test. It had just newly become protocol to perform newborn babies. It was called a pulse oximetry test and it saved my daughters life.

 

The test numbers came back abnormal, and we discovered that Ava wasn't getting enough blood flow to her lower extremities. They ran the test two more times that night, and she failed all three times. We stayed another night in the hospital and early the next morning, Ava was taken to get an echo of her heart. The echo discovered a congenital heart defect called Coarctation of the Aorta and Ava was immediately rushed to Loma Linda Children's Hospital.

 

She was going to have open heart surgery within the first week of her life. She had two surgeries that week, the first one was unsuccessful and revealed she also has a bicuspid valve and the second one was on my birthday. I'm happy to say the second one was successful. After 8 days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, she was discharged with her daddy and I and has been home ever since.

 

She is a happy, healthy 13 pound 3 month old baby now and her heart has healed well. We go to the cardiologist regularly and that is probably something we'll have to do for the rest of her life, but she is doing amazing. I'm so proud of her and how far she has come. She is definitely my hero.

 

Story by Ava's mom, Allison - California