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Alexander's Heart Saga

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During a routine anatomy scan at 20 weeks, it was discovered that our son Alexander had a severe heart defect. Appointments were quickly scheduled with a specialist and within a week we found out that our son has a rare birth defect called Heterotaxy which involves the heart and other organs. Alexander has about 7 heart defects which include Dextrocardia (his heart points to the right), a single ventricle, common atrium, and Pulmonary Atresia. Not only is his heart affected but his liver is midline and he has Polysplenia (multiple spleens). Fetal cardiologists informed us that Alexander would require at least 3 open heart surgeries all before the age of 3. They also explained to us that there was a good chance he would not survive the gestation period because one of his valves has a severe leak. My husband and I didn't know if we would have a baby to bring home. We didn't even know if we should have a baby shower or buy a crib, clothes and a car seat.

On April 18th, 2017 our baby Alexander was born. Time stood still for just a minute as I heard my sons first cry. The NICU and cardiology team tended to my son as they began to stabilize him and start his IV lines. I was able to hold him for just a few seconds before they rushed him to the NICU where he would spend the next 5 weeks.

We are so grateful to live in Houston where Texas Children's is ranked No. 1 in Cardiology.
Since birth Alexander has had three cardiac catheterizations all under general anesthesia. He is now 9.5 months and he is ready for his first open heart surgery, the Kawashima, scheduled for February 16. None of his surgeries will fix his heart, but it allows him to have an improved quality of life and a better chance of survival. This surgery will help get oxygenated blood from his lungs to his heart and the rest of his body. Right now this is being done by the stent that was put in to keep his PDA open when he was just a few weeks old but he has outgrown it. Heterotaxy and congenital heart disease is a lifelong battle that we will share together as a family.

We ask for your prayers for Alexander's health and recovery over the coming months. We also ask for your prayers to help keep us strong during this stressful time. This will have a significant financial impact on our family as we maintain the medical expenses. If you can make a donation, your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Again, thank you for reading our message and for your prayers and support for Alexander during this challenging journey.


  • Hillary Bernal
    • $100 
    • 6 yrs


Joanna Knight
Copperfield, TX

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