On May 20th, 2004 after a normal, healthy, full-term pregnancy, Jenna Lynne was born weighing in at 8lbs 2oz. She was a little blue, but the doctor said it was because she came so quickly. He said she was healthy.
However, the delivery nurse said she wanted to take her to give her a bath because she wasn’t transitioning very well. We were told this was common and not to worry. We were then told that there was a heart murmur detected so they were running tests, but again, everything would be okay. It seemed like an eternity before a doctor from Children’s Memorial Hospital came in and told us our life changing news…Jenna had a Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) and would have to be transferred that night to Children’s Memorial.
At CMH we learned that her CHD was called Double Outlet Right Ventricle with Pulmonary Artresia. In layman’s terms that means that Jenna’s aorta formed on the right side of the heart instead of the left, her pulmonary artery did not form at all, and she had a VSD between her two chambers.
Jenna’s first open heart surgery was at 6 days old. The first 8 months of her life consisted of going back and forth from the hospital and the pediatrician’s office, usually on a weekly basis. They checked her weight, oxygen stats, did blood work, x-rays and whatever else they needed that particular day or week. She was on and off oxygen and NG feeding tubes. At 8 ½ months old, Jenna had her 2nd open heart surgery.
The surgery was expected to last about 6-8 hours. The surgery lasted 12 hours, it was not a complete success but they needed to close her up. A few days later, they did a cardio catheter test and found that a hole between her atrium, called a ASD, was bigger than what they thought. So 3 days later Jenna went under for her 3rd open heart surgery. This one was a complete success! The change in her was immediate, the first thing I noticed were how pink her lips were!
Jenna is now 8 years old. She does not have any restrictions. Her cardiologist has always said she will know her limitations. She does take a daily medication and sees her cardiologist every 6 months. We do not know when her next surgery is, but it is on the horizon. She is a typical 8 year old who enjoys playing with her older brother, younger sister and all of her friends. She loves reading and all of her stuffed animals. She is patiently waiting for a real dog! Everyone who meets her is immediately touched by her. She is a sweet, compassionate, loving, angelic girl with a heart of gold. Unless you see the scar on her chest, you would never know what she has gone through and what she still has ahead of her. She has always been a happy child. She is our special miracle with a special heart.
We are thrilled to be associated with American Heart Association. Every step they make and every dollar they raise means more awareness for CHD, research and a better, healthier life for not only Jenna but all Heart Survivors!
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