Oliver And His Little Big Heart

Oliver was diagnosed in utero at 18 weeks with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), heterotaxy, and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). HLHS is a congenital heart defect and means that the left side of his heart never developed and/or grew. Essentially he only has half a heart. This condition is 100% deadly within the first few days of life without treatment. Heterotaxy means that some organs are not in their traditional spots. IUGR means the baby does not grow to a normal birth weight during pregnancy. We were referred up to Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) because of how complex his situation was and because it is the #1 place for a cardiac condition as severe as his. BCH gave us the option not to continue the pregnancy, or to continue the pregnancy and what we can expect from the treatments, surgeries, and statistics of success and survival. We thought long and hard about this, and even though there is a chance oliver might not make it to 5 years old, we knew we just couldn’t give up on him. We had faith, we had hope, we could get through this. We traveled back and forth to Boston throughout the pregnancy for regular care. Oliver would need to be born in Boston to have immediate medical care at bch cardiac intensive care unit (CICU). Luckily bch has another fantastic hospital right next door called Brigham & women’s hospital (BWH) and they are connected by a tunnel. That meant even while I was still admitted I could leave to go see Oliver. The morning of the big day comes, we arrive on time, bags in hand, all smiles ready to finally meet our special little boy! While they are making all the preparations I’m hooked up to the monitors listening to his heart beat. After about 30 mins his heart rate tanked, twice, and was not coming back up. That’s when things got a crazy. They rushed me back to the OR, because at this point it had turned into a emergency c-section. They had to get him out and get him out now. The anesthesiologist tried three times to get the spinal block in with no success. The only option they had left was to put me to sleep, and so they did. Oliver David Zeigler was born April 9th 2018 at 8:06am 4lbs 13ozs & 17in. He was baptized right in the OR with dad assisting, and then transferred next door to the CICU at BCH where he still is today. His recovery is going well but slow. In part because of his severe congenital heart defects ,the HLHS & heterotaxy issues, and partially because of his preemie like size, the IUGR issue. This heartbreaking situation is taking its toll on all of us as we empathize with our tiny angel. We have been blessed to get into the Ronald McDonald House in Boston. Did you know the ICU costs about $10,000 a day? Nope neither did we! Oliver’s dad had to go back to work and needs to travel back and forth to Boston each week. This go fund me is to help offset the cost associated with having a life long severe medical condition, missed work, travel, and a insane amount of medical bills. All help is greatly appreciated. Please share and pray! Thank you and god bless
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Barbara Zeigler 
Groton, CT
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