Have a Heart for Jamey
Organized by: Jamey Silva
For Jamey and his family life changed the moment he was born. His amazing pediatrician detected a defect in his heart and shortly after entering this world Jamey began his courageous journey. He was medivaced to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at UC Davis Medical Center. He was evaluated by Dr. Mark Parrish and Dr. Gary Raff and his parents were informed that Jamey was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and would have to undergo a series of intensive, extensive, and invasive surgeries to correct his condition. At 5 days old, Jamey was admitted to surgery for the Norwood Procedure, open heart surgery which converts the right ventricle into the main ventricle pumping blood to both the lungs and the body, and had a lengthy stay. His courageous mother, Amanda, was recovering from a c-section and juggling two older children while trying to join her newborn son that left her side in a whirlwind only hours after being born. Jamey's father, Steve, remained vigilant and at his side while trying to figure out how they would navigate a lengthy hospital stay an hour and a half away from their home. After a successful 1st surgery Jamey had to return to UC Davis at 6 months old to undergo the Bi-Directional Glenn, another open heart surgery that would divert half of the blood to the lungs when circulation through the lungs no longer needs as much pressure from the ventricle. This was another lengthy hospital stay in which there were several complications that added to both the time and emotional toll of being in the hospital. Once again Jamey persevered and came out like a champ ready to fight. The next hurdle for Jamey was the 3rd open heart surgery, known as the Fontan Operation, which connects the inferior vena cava, the blood vessel that drains deoxygenated blood from the lower part of the body into the heart, to the pulmonary artery by creating a channel through or just outside the heart to direct blood to the pulmonary artery. This was also a success, but also came with many hardships. Jamey spent his 4th birthday in the hospital due to complications that lengthened his stay. The staff at UC Davis tried to make it a memorable one for Jamey and arranged a birthday surprise for him to meet a police officer. After he left the hospital he enjoyed living life to the fullest until he became ill two years later with Plastic Bronchitis, which is what he has today. Plastic Bronchitis is a rare condition characterized by the formation and expectoration of long, branching casts of the bronchial tubes. Symptoms include violent coughing, wheezing, and episodes of severe dyspnea. All the while Jamey's older siblings, Steven and Bianca have stuck by his side and navigated this path for better and worse. Steven and Bianca have helped and encouraged Jamey with their beautiful brightness and bravery of their own. Jamey is a spirited boy who loves to be active and engage in the world. It is difficult to watch his spirit dim when he is sick, hurting, and/or recovering from surgery. It has been a long and often difficult road for Jamey and his family in many ways. Any support would be greatly appreciated as there is no immediate relief in sight on this journey. Thank you.