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Tiernyn, born 2005

In May 17, 2005, when Tiernyn was three months old, I took him to the emergency room for a slight fever. I was surprised to find out that he had lost weight since his two months check up. After several tests and a chest x-ray, the doctor told me that his heart was big and we needed to go to another hospital. There we were told that our baby had a rare heart defect called Anomalous Left Coronary Artery to Pulmonary Artery (ALCAPA) and would need open heart surgery.

 

On May 20th, he had surgery. Everything seemed to be going great. His older brother visited him on the 24th at the hospital since he looked so much better. After trying to feed Tiernyn, the nurse and I attempted to put him back in his bed. That's when he began to go stiff and all the machines began beeping. Doctors and nurses rushed in. After 15 minutes of chest compressions, Tiernyn came back. The doctors were unsure how much damage had been done to his tiny organs due to the lack of oxygen. He had aspirated because his heart was so big and had pushed his esophagus so he needed to have a ng-tube placed.

 

Twenty two days later, Tiernyn was released from the hospital. Therapists still visit Tiernyn regularly and he does not eat by mouth but his doctors seem amazed with his overall recovery. His current heart diagnosis is endocardial fibroelastosis (scar tissue in his left ventricle). We know there is a struggle ahead but we feel very blessed to have our little fighter.

 

Story by Tiernyn's mom, Michelle - Texas