***Original post date Sept. 12, 2007***
Today is a special day. It is the one year anniversary of my daughter’s heart surgery. Larken was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA), which is a congenital heart defect in which the aorta and the pulmonary artery are reversed. As a result the blood is not mixing and her organs would be deprived of oxygen rich blood.
Her surgery started at 9:00 A.M. and lasted 9 ½ hours. For me the most amazing part (besides doctors working 9 ½ hours with no pee break) was that her heart was only the size of a walnut! The great arteries they were cutting were about the size of a pencil tip, and the coronary arteries they had to splice and reconnect were about the size of a piece of thread!
After a month in the hospital we took our little miracle home. She will have to see the cardiologist at least once a year for the rest of her life for checkups, but barring any complications, she should lead a “normal” life.
Today she is starting to take her first steps. She loves dancing and laughing and music. (Even when daddy sings!) If it weren’t for the scar on her chest you would never know that she was any different than any other toddler. She is a bit smaller than your average one year old, but that is to be expected in heart babies since the body put so much effort into healing the heart.
We will be forever grateful to Dr. Fortuna, the surgeon, and all of the doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s Hospital of Illinois for taking such good care of our “miracle baby.”