Claire was born on July 18th, 2010 after an uneventful pregnancy and delivery. She has always been very happy, easy going, and sweet natured. When Claire was six months old, she turned blue while taking a bath. We called an ambulance and took her immediately to the hospital. A chest X-ray was done, and we were initially told that her turning blue was probably due to the cold and congestion that she had at the time. This was one of the most terrifying nights for us, but turned out to be the luckiest night of our lives!
Two days later we got the call with the results of the chest X-ray. We got the news that Claire’s heart was enlarged and we should see a pediatric cardiologist immediately. This was a shock! I knew absolutely nothing about congenital heart defects. It really never occurred to me that something could be wrong with my child. Claire was diagnosed with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) – what is commonly known as “a hole in the heart.” Her oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood were mixing between her atria, causing the right side of her heart to be double the size it should be for her age. She had no obvious symptoms and we would have had no reason to think anything was wrong with her. We are so lucky that she did in fact have the episode where she turned blue, because this type of defect often goes undetected.
The next two years were followed with many doctors appointments, research, worrying, and waiting. The doctors could tell from Claire’s echocardiograms that she had at least two holes in her heart. Claire had open heart surgery in November of 2012, and sailed through with flying colors! It actually turned out that she had six or seven holes in her septum – her surgeon likened it to Swiss Cheese. She did amazingly – up and walking around in under 48 hours and home (asking to jump on the trampoline) in four days!
Since Claire’s surgery she has had more energy than ever! She is an adorable little girl who is so smart and has a real sense of humor! She loves going to dance class, loves singing, playing with her big brother, and anything to do with princesses. Claire’s heart should return to an average size within a few years and she should lead a very long, normal, and healthy life. She is a gift and an inspiration and we are blessed to have her in our lives every day! We are so grateful to Mended Little Hearts of Long Island and everyone we have met along our journey to Claire’s “mended little heart.”