It has now been over 7 years since our son Liam came into this world with an undetected heart defect, and we found ourselves suddenly following him in the Flight for Life vehicle down to the Childrens Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
Just hours after his birth, Liam was diagnosed with critical Pulmonary Valve Stenosis, which obstructed the blood flow from his right ventricle to his lungs. His oxygen level was dropping, and his skin tone had started to change. We were obviously terrified for our newborn son and feared the worst.
During his first several hours at the CICU, we were greeted by multiple doctors, nurses, and specialists, all of whom took time to describe their role and function in Liam’s care, explained his condition and options for treatment, and most importantly, they made sure that we knew how much they cared about Liam’s health, well-being, and safety.
During his first 8 weeks, Liam had two stays at the Children’s Hospital CICU. At 2-days old Liam underwent a balloon valvuloplasty procedure to open up his pulmonary valve, and then several weeks later, Liam returned for open heart surgery to remove obstructive muscle tissue in his right ventricle that was causing his heart to work too hard.
Thankfully both procedures were successful, and we are grateful that Liam is a happy, funny, wonder-filled 7-year-old boy (and amazing big brother) who navigates his world without limitation. We feel so blessed to have him as our son…and that we get to see him grow and thrive in the years to come.
We also feel blessed to have access to the amazingly competent and caring team at The Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital…an organization that will forever be a part of Liam’s life, and one that we plan to support in their mission of helping heart kids like Liam, and their parents, find their way to healthier, happier lives.