Heart Stories

Gabe

Gabriel Allen Peterson was born on September 15, 2015 in Reading, PA. Gabe was rushed to our local hospital at 8 days old where we found out that he was in cardiogenic shock due to a critical coarctation of the aorta. He was flown to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where he had heart surgery with Dr. Spray at 14 days old and a heart catheterization at 3 months old. Gabe was also diagnosed with a hypoplastic aortic arch, a bicuspid aortic valve, hypertension, and Subclavian Steal Syndrome. He is currently awaiting his next repair for Subclavian Steal Syndrome, while controlling his blood pressure with medication. Gabe is doing well and is such a happy little boy.


Blake

Blake Sercok was born on March 27, 2012 in the Special Delivery Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was diagnosed with hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS), a ventricular septum defect (VSD), transposition of the great arteries (TGA), and pulmonary atresia at 20 weeks gestation. At just 3 days old, Blake had his first open-heart surgery, the Norwood, and spent a week at CHOP afterwards for recovery. Unfortunately, he was readmitted two days later with RSV and eventually came home on supplemental oxygen. At 4 months old, Blake had his second open-heart surgery, the Glenn, and at 2½ years old has his third surgery, the Fontan.


Although Blake is considered to be fully repaired as a Fontan patient, he will always be living with “half a heart” and therefore is followed by numerous specialties other than cardiology. Overall, Blake is doing great! He is in first grade, loves school, and playing all kinds of sports. He is one of the happiest, most smilest boys around!



Tyler

Tyler was born on July 9 th , 2012 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). He had three open-heart surgeries: one at 3 days old, one at 3 months old, and one at 2 years old to improve his circulation. After this series of surgeries, Tyler’s growth and development improved significantly and he was even able to stop using his feeding tube! However, in May of 2016, at the age of 3 and a half years old, Tyler went into rapid heart failure. The brilliant team at CHOP implanted a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) in order to save Tyler’s life. The VAD they used on Tyler was originally designed and manufactured for adults but the surgical team successfully implanted it inside of Tyler’s heart when he weighed just over 20 pounds. At the time of his surgery, he was the smallest person in the United States and the second smallest person in the world to successfully have the Heartware VAD implanted. Tyler was able to spend most of the following year and a half at home while he waited for a new heart. His gift of life arrived on November 28 th , 2017. Tyler is a happy and healthy 1 st grader who loves to play basketball!

Jude

Jude was born on July 25, 2015 in the Special Delivery Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was diagnosed with a hypoplastic aortic arch, a bicuspid aortic valve and small left sided structure. Jude underwent cardiac cath at 5 days then open heart surgery a few days later. Jude did very well after surgery. 3 months later, however, he ended up in severe heart failure. He was cathed twice to remove blockages. His heart was so damaged, though that we listed him for a heart transplant. He struggled for the next few months then miraculously his heart remolded and we were able to bring him home. He did not get a transplant, much to his doctors’ surprise and is doing amazingly well today with the heart he was born with.

Today he is a very active 3 1/2 year old. He follows up regularly with his cardiologist.

Karli

On May 12, 2016 Karli and her twin sister Kaycee arrived five weeks early. Karli was the one who decided it was time to make their grand entrance; she broke my water. Prenatallydiagnosed with truncus arteriosus, doctors believed that the CHD could be repaired with surgery shortly after birth and that she could live a full and happy life. Since Karli was born at only 3lb 13oz., the goal was to allow her to get as big as possible for surgery. However, a few days after birth it was determined that we could no longer wait and needed to proceed with the repair surgery. At only six days old, Karli had her first open heart surgery. She did beautifully, but due to her small size she had several complications post-surgery. Karlifought hard for 11 more days, but sadly at only 17 days old, our sweet little girl passed away. Although her time here was short, she worked her way into the hearts of many people, even some she never got a chance to meet. She is our angel, watching over us all, especially her twin sister Kaycee.

~Not all twins walk side by side, sometimes one has wings to fly~



Evelyn

Evelyn Hope was born November 13th 2017 in the SDU at CHOP. She was prenatally diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, Pulmonary Atresia and MAPCA’s. Due to Evelyn’s complex anatomy her doctors were unsure how she would transition into this world. Much to everyone’s surprise she did better than expected. At 2 weeks old she had her first Cardiac Catheterization and the news was heart breaking, our baby girl was not a candidate for surgery and was sent home in hopes to grow. After just over a week home Evelyn’s health started declining and was back to CHOP where we were advised our best option would be to seek treatment in Palo Alto, California. Once at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Evelyn had her first open heart surgery. The surgery went well, but she was faced with a month of complications during recovery. At 10 weeks old our Sunshine passed away. Evelyn had just 10 weeks on this earth and in that short time she taught us how to live and love to the fullest. We are blessed with an Angel and we miss her everyday.

—Our hearts may be broken, but now yours is whole—