Samuel, born 2012
We went in for our 20 week ultrasound to see our baby in pictures for the first time. The next day we received an unsuspected call from our doctor indicating that the ultrasound pictures of our baby's heart showed there might be a problem. Our doctor got us in right away for a level 3 ultrasound and a Fetal Echocardiogram. The doctors confirmed that our baby had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Samuel Joseph was born at 40 weeks exactly on October 29 at 4:29pm weighing in at 8 pounds 15 ounces and was 21 inches long. The doctors were impressed at how big he had grown and hoped then that this would continue to be true; Sam continued to show them that he wasn't going to let his underdeveloped heart stop him.
Sam was immediately transferred with a team of doctors under the connecting tunnel to Children's Hospital of Minnesota's NICU. He underwent the Norwood procedure when he was three days old; the most critical of the 3-staged surgeries. After almost 6 hours from when we let Sam go with the doctors, the surgery was completed without any hurdles. He was off the bypass machine, and moved back to his room. On November 14 we were released to go home, just in time for the Holidays!
Sam's oxygen saturation levels began to decrease over time, as they suspected, and they decided that Sam was ready for his second surgery. Sam was scheduled for surgery on March 8, 2013. Weaning him from the low flow oxygen was another story as the doctors felt his oxygen saturations were too low following surgery, but the actual cause ended up being an upper respiratory infection, keeping us in the hospital for two weeks. Finally on March 21, he was off oxygen and the cold was clearing so we got the green light to go home. Sam was sent home on a home nebulizer treatment in addition to the heart medicines until his respiratory infection was completely cleared.
On April 8th, Sam made his first appearance at daycare and besides well-baby checkups, a daily medicine routine, and follow up PC exam, Echocardiograms, EKGs, and X-Rays. He is enjoying life as a one year old and busy getting into everything. The crawling stage is slowly making its way to walking, but it's amazing to see the progress Sam has made in the last year jumping hurdle after hurdle.
The next staged surgery that Sam will undergo is the Fontan and we’re hoping he can wait till he’s around 3 or 4 years of age. We have many doctors, surgeons, and nurses to thank for their work with Sam. Also, we have to thank our family, friends, and community for all their support, love, and prayers over that last year. We wouldn't be where we are today without everyone helping us along the way!
Story by Samuel’s mom, Arianne - Minnesota