Dylan (AV Canal/Septal Defects, Down Syndrome) - Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation

Dylan (AV Canal/Septal Defects, Down Syndrome)

During my pregnancy, I went for a routine 19-week check-up and had an ultrasound performed to determine the baby’s sex. I was sent immediately to my OB, and he explained that there was a problem with the baby’s heart. He made a call and got me into the Maternal Fetal Medicine that afternoon. After doing another ultrasound they diagnosed my unborn son, Dylan, with AV Canal Defect, two septal defects and a 30-40% chance of having Downs Syndrome. What a shock in one day! So confused, I went to the library and grabbed all the books and literature I could find. All I could do was read, pray and prepare myself for what was to come.

On January 31, 2006 my little bundle of joy came into the world weighing 6 lbs, 8oz. I only saw him for a second before they rushed him into NICU. Dylan stayed in NICU for a whole week for tests and precaution. As he built up strength and weight, four months later we made the trip to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans for Dylan’s heart surgery. I had been dreading this day with fear. The entire staff was so kind and easy to talk to, they prepared me for the worst with comfort. The open heart surgery took the longest five hours of my life. The doctors told me that Dylan did great, and they fixed and repaired what they could. However, since he did not have enough tissue around his valves, his little heart would still leak which would require a second surgery. This wouldn’t happen until later, when he was older. I will never forget the image of my sweet little boy having tubes coming out of his body that were attached to huge machines all around his bed side. As the days went by, one at a time, a tube or machine would be removed. It felt like a slow process, but it was a great relief. After ten days we were finally home.

Almost two years later, Dylan is growing and achieving all of his developmental skills. He is such a character and a treat to our family. We have learned so much from him. Most of all, he has taught us to enjoy life.