Chaz Jr. was born with only two heart chambers due to a severe congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Teams of cardiologists and surgeons have been monitoring him even before his mom was in her third trimester. Chaz Jr. has been a lifelong patient of Boston Children's Hospital, enduring three open heart surgeries at 3 days, 6 months, and 3 years old.
Now only five years old, he has spent more than half of his young life inside of a hospital. When he's not inpatient Chaz Jr. loves his hometown Branford, CT, his classmates at the Early Years Center, Mickey Mouse and Minions, and his 9 year old sister Bella. He has fought harder than imaginable to stay well enough to be taken off the heart transplant list. Unfortunately, staying healthy is a lifelong struggle for kids with HLHS and Chaz Jr. is no exception.
In addition to HLHS, Chaz Jr. has suffered numerous issues with his lungs. Most recently, he was transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for a procedure to treat his lymphatic flow disorder after one of his lungs collapsed.
This procedure has led to one complication after another. The week of November 13th has been a trying one for Chaz Jr. and his family:
-Tuesday, November 14th: Chaz Jr. suffered a devastating major stroke. As a result, he has damage to his left side of his brain and is paralyzed on the right side of his body.
-Thursday, November 16th: Chaz Jr. continues to be monitored post-stroke. His doctors are working to manage his heart, conflicting medications and conditions, as well as his lungs. The extent of his brain damage is yet to be determined. Additional tests are being scheduled. This page will be updated with further developments.
Chaz Jr’s mom, dad, and older sister are by his bedside. His dad is currently taking an unpaid leave from work to be able to hold his little boy’s hand while he goes through this ordeal. Words cannot describe the stress and frustration this family is going through. When hope seems to be right around the corner, they have been met with life-threatening setbacks for their son whom they love dearly. No one wants to, or should have to, see their child go through what Chaz Jr. is going through. He is incredibly resilient for what he has already experienced so far in his life and his family has been on there every step of the way, riding a grappling emotional rollercoaster.
Now being over three hours away from home, work, and immediate family members, an additional toll has been taken out on the family. The holidays are right around the corner and it’s highly likely Chaz Jr. and his family will be spending theirs inside the hospital, an added level of strain.
If you can help in any way, every donation will be going to Chaz Jr. and his family as he continues to battle against the odds and surpass the medical hurdles set up against him.
Aside from donations, cards, well wishes, pictures of Mickey or care packages can be sent to Chaz Jr. at the following address:
::::::Address editted from original post:::
Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia
3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
C/O Chaz DiLeonardo
During dark and trying times when the future is uncertain, having a smile appear on Chaz Jr’s face makes the situation feel brighter. He and his family deserve all of the brightness they can get.
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