James, born 2011
We found out James had 3 congenital heart defects and would need immediate open heart surgery when he was two days old; we had no idea until the pediatrician on call at the hospital heard a loud murmur. My husband and I were in shock as we were rushed via ambulance to the CICU of Phoenix Children's Hospital. James was immediately scheduled for surgery four days later and we spent those days praying and spending every moment possible with James; constantly aware that the tubes he was connected to were probably saving his life.
James underwent open heart surgery on bypass when he was six days old. The surgeon removed his little heart from his little body and repaired the Coarctation, the ASD, and opened up the leaflets on a very malformed aortic valve. Everything went smoothly, which was shocking to my husband and me as we couldn't imagine how so many problems could be fixed on a heart that tiny. It was so intimidating to see James surrounded by machines, more tubes, and dressings when he returned from surgery. If the success of surgery wasn't miraculous enough, James went on to recover amazingly well, so well, that he was discharged a mere five days later and were home in time for Christmas. Our family spent a very sweet Christmas together, so very grateful for the blessing of our little boy, who has overcome the odds.
James has future surgeries to deal with, mostly centered on replacing his aortic valve and repairing TVC paralysis, which resulted from his first surgery. For now, we are extremely hopeful and grateful for this miracle of a boy and for all the support we have received.
Story by James’ mother, Rachel - Arizona