Danielle was born with a moderate case of Pectus Excavatum. Pectus Excavatum is a condition in which the breastbone sinks into the chest. She was followed by specialists until early adulthood, but didn't experience debilitating symptoms until recently. Danielle has been experiencing multiple events of difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, elevated heart rate, and decreases in oxygen saturation levels. When Danielle sits, stands or walks she loses oxygen rapidly and her heart rate skyrockets. Essentially, this meant that Danielle's oxygen was dropping into the 70's and 80's, when normal is 95-100. All of these symptoms are preventing Danielle from living her day to day life.
After spending multiple weeks in two different hospitals doctors were able to determine that her Pectus Excavatum had shifted to a severe case. The Haller Index is the measurement used to calculate the extent of the Pectus deformity using CT scans. A normal Haller Index is 2.0, corrective surgery is recommended at a 3.25, and Danielle's is a 4.95. Essentially her chest bone is putting pressure on her heart which is causing her to lose a large percentage of blood flow. Additionally, they found that the Pectus Excavatum is causing the deoxygenated blood to flow the wrong way. We also recently learned she has a right ventricle outflow obstruction. When she stands or rolls on her side, she loses around 60% of blood flow. Danielle is scheduled to get the Nuss procedure on November 15th at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona with Dr. Jaroszewski. She will travel from St. Louis, Missouri to Phoenix, Arizona a few days early for additional testing, expected to stay in Phoenix for 2-4 weeks following surgery, and will need rehabilitative therapy afterwards. This surgery places titanium bars to hold her chest in the corrected position. She will need to return to Phoenix at 3-, 6-, and 12-months following the surgery to monitor progress and eventually remove the bars from her chest.
Danielle is the most kind, caring and giving person I’ve ever been blessed to know. She’s an active member in her community, a volunteer for the Make A Wish Foundation, was a St. Louis Rams cheerleader and was excited to start a new chapter cheering for the St. Louis Ambush, but unfortunately had to remove herself from the team due to her symptoms from the Pectus Excavatum. We are very thankful for her supportive employers and coworkers, whom have been so kind, caring, and supportive of her during this time but we also can't wait for her to get this surgery so she can get back to work!! If anyone knows Danielle, they know how much she loves her job at Concero Technology Group and how she cannot wait to be healthy enough to return to work.