Matthew, born 2004
Matthew William was born on Thanksgiving, November 25, 2004 at 5:21 p.m. He weighed 6lbs. 7oz. A day after his birth we were told he had a slight heart murmur which was most likely innocent and not a concern. After two pediatrician visits and a murmur that went away and came back, his pediatrician decided we should take him to a pediatric cardiologist to be checked out. We were told by this cardiologist that Matthew's murmur was very strong and could not have gone away. And that the pediatrician completely missed the issue early on.
On February 4, 2004, we visited a well respected cardiologist in New Jersey and that day it seemed our whole world came crashing down. Matthew was checked out and we were told by a very callous doctor with little bedside manner that he was a very sick baby and that we must get him to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) that same day. Needless to say, we were in shock and kept asking, "What does Matthew have?" and all the doctor could say was he is a very sick little boy. With that we took Matthew to CHOP and he was given a follow up ECHO, EKG and some blood tests. They decided to keep him over the weekend and do a cardiac catheterization on Monday to determine the extent of the problem.
After his catheterization, we were given very grim news and that he had serious aortic and pulmonary stenosis and that he would require bypass surgery right away to correct the problem. We were also told he has the same CHD as children with William Syndrome. We were then visited by genetic doctors and after some blood tests, they ruled out Williams Syndrome and we were advised that Matthew only has the same CHD issues.
Matthew had his bypass surgery on February 9, 2005. It was ruled a success based on what they saw before they went in and after, it was told to us they were able to do more than they originally thought. He was healing so well actually that they released him on February 13th right from ICU.
Matthew is a fighter and he recovered fast. When he was born, he showed no signs of having a CHD. He was eating, growing and seemed very healthy.
Matthew is one entertaining little boy. He is growing and is doing very well. He recently was sent back to CHOP to have another catheterization; during this procedure they took many pictures and tests. They were able to see that the aortic stenosis surgical site was doing very well and it was very open and looked great. They did however need to perform balloon dilation on the right pulmonary arteries. The goal of this was to open up the arteries so as to relieve some excess pressures in his heart.
Matthew is home now and doing well and a follow up ECHO in a few weeks will hopefully show some improvement on the pulmonary arteries. He will be going back to CHOP in six months to do some additional dilation with another catheterization but this time it will be on the left side.
He is our little boy and we would not trade him for anything!
Story by Matthew's mom, Jennifer - New Jersey