Brandon, born 1995
I delivered Brandon at 33 weeks on January 23rd, 1995. I was told during my delivery (c-section) that he would not cry like other babies because he would just be too small. Brandon came into the world at 3lbs. 10oz. screaming and really mad! We were never told that Brandon had anything more than a heart murmur after he was born but he was in the hospital for six weeks following his birth.
When I took Brandon to his first doctor's check up at 8 weeks old, I was told my baby was doing wonderfully at a whopping 4lbs. 10oz. but his heart didn't sound right. I was given a referral to a pediatric cardiologist and off we went the next day. After doing an echocardiogram and EKG, they told us he had aortic stenosis.
Right away I thought, "What did I do wrong?" I assumed it was my fault. I was told that nothing I could have done would have prevented this and that he was just put together this way. Plus with him being born premature, there were a lot of other factors involved. They told me he would most likely be slow to walk (he walked at 11 months!), slow to talk (he talked around 11 months saying "light hot"), and they also told me may be behind in motor skills and may have some academic troubles in school.
Well, Brandon is proof that these kids are strong! Not only did he prove them wrong during my delivery, but Brandon has proven them wrong time and time again! He is a mentally gifted student who has received all A's and B's every year. He has an IQ of around 150 last time he was checked (2004).
He has not had to have any surgery of any type even though I was told his first surgery would be around the age of 2 or 3. He is now 10 years old! I still get that sick feeling every time we have to go to the pediatric cardiologist because I know sooner or later they are going to tell me this is it, it's time.
But, I also have seen how strong willed these children with CHD are. They are truly amazing! Their little bodies go through so much, the blood draws, the caths, the EKGs, the echos, stress test... you name it. And of course we hurt for them, shed tears, want to take away the pain. And then the next thing you know they are looking up at you and saying "It's OK, mom, it's over and I'm OK now." Amazing!
Story by Brandon's mom, Barbara - Pennsylvania