Mitchell, born 2006
Mitchell was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus at three days old. We were very blessed to receive an early diagnosis. He has been well cared for by the Pediatric Cardiology team at Johns Hopkins. Mitchell was also diagnosed with 22q11.2 Distal Deletion Syndrome, developmental delay, reflux and a compromised immune system. He has had two open heart surgeries, five cardiac catheterizations, and a g-tube since he was three months old. More recently he has been diagnosed with Autism and Epilepsy.
Mitchell was too small when he was born to have his first surgery right away. We waited a long time in the NICU. He was 3 ½ months old before he ever left the hospital. I think his second open heart surgery was even harder. He was almost four years old and seemed so healthy. Leaving him in the operating room was the hardest thing I have ever had to do but five days later he was climbing on everything in the hospital room. He was home on day seven. It took longer to get the entire adhesive off of his skin than it did for him to be back to business as usual.
Mitchell will most likely need at least one more open heart surgery. Developments in technology are bettering his odds on eliminating open heart surgeries all the time. In his short lifetime we have witnessed many improvements. Mitchell's annual cardiology visits are always nail biters for us. I don't think that will ever change but when I reflect on what he has overcome I find peace. Mitchell brings so much joy to our lives. He inspires us to be better in all that we do. He is truly a blessing. We thank God for him every single day!
Story by Mitchell’s mom, Mandy - Maryland