For many parents, hearing the heartbeat of their unborn child becomes the first loving bond to their child. The discovery of a child's heart defect, whether in the womb, shortly after birth, or during childhood is often devastating.
On February 20, 2008, Alessandra Rose was born 7.5 pounds and 20 inches. After a few days we noticed her breathing was labored and made an appointment with her pediatrician who advised us to go to the hospital immediately. After a series of tests and an echocardiogram the Pediatric Cardiologist told us Allie had a very large Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Septal Defect. She had extra blood returning from the lungs to the left heart chambers which caused them to enlarge. Her heart was overburdened and the lungs become congested.
Because her heart and lungs had to work harder, she became short of breath, particularly with the exertion of feeding (which is the most exercise a baby does). Three months went by which led to poor feeding, poor weight gain and growth.
On June 3, 2008 Allie had open heart surgery at Children's Memorial Hospital led by Dr. Carl Backer Division Head, Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeon to repair the two defects.
Allie was in neonatal intensive care for several weeks during her recovery while we were stayed at the Ronald McDonald house. Allie was discharged from the hospital with a heart block which resolved itself after a few months. She had a residual defect because the surgeon wasnt able to drop a stitch from the gortex patch used to repair the VSD that is near the AV node (major element in the cardiac conduction system that controls her heart rate).
As of a week ago (May 2018) were got the good news that after 10 years her residual defect has corrected itself and her heart is perfect!
Allis is a healthy active 10 year old gymnast, artist, and caring little girl that brings joy to all!