Isla’s Heart

It’s been a minute! Specifically, it’s been since Mother’s Day of 2015 when Isla returned home from the Mayo following back-to-back open heart surgeries #2 and #3 at 20-months-old and a mere 19 pounds. And now Isla is an energetic, empathetic, and wise beyond her years 9-year-old!

Most recently, Isla was diagnosed with Celiac’s and a growth hormone deficiency. Having addressed both causes for a growth delay, Isla is now at the point we have been anticipating since 2016 — the second valve replacement in the long medical journey that is Shone’s Syndrome.

Here’s an excerpt from May of 2016, one year after surgeries #2 & #3:

“As promised with the arrival (and passing) of Mother's Day, we have an update on Miss Isla's heart. On Friday, May 20, Isla had her 6-month-interval echo in Fargo. All previous surgical repairs are looking good. However, the one duct identified as potentially problematic at her last 6-month check-up is just that...problematic. It isn't growing as she grows, which means Isla will have a 4th open heart surgery in the near future.

When is the "near future"? It's the million dollar question. Miss Isla's heart isn't large enough for two mechanical valves. Plan A is to stay the course until Miss Isla has gained about 10 pounds, which is the minimum weight for the insertion of a 2nd mechanical valve. In this past year, she has gained around 10 pounds, giving us a slight idea of timing.

Plan B (actually, Plan *&%^&#% at this point) is a more complicated surgery…”

Fast forward to today, the “near future” has been identified as Jan 3, 2023, and “Plan B” has been defined as a 3-stage surgery. Stage 1, replace the existing mechanical mitral valve with a bigger size. Stages 2 and 3 are referred to as the Ross procedure. Isla’s diseased aortic valve will be replaced with her own pulmonary valve. A mechanical valve will go where the pulmonary valve was.

Why not leave the pulmonary valve out of it and put a mechanical valve in place of the diseased aortic valve? Limited real estate. Isla’s heart is too small to physically fit two mechanical valves so close to each other. The Ross procedure is the most viable workaround.

That’s her story and the reason for this GoFundMe. The family is blessed to have medical insurance, but they will be on unpaid leave from work for several weeks, plus they will have hotel and gas expenses. Donations will allow the family to stay by Isla’s side as she undergoes surgery and recovery. Any amount helps!

On behalf of the Morans, thank you!!

Kate, Isla’s aunt

Donations (124)

  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 10 mos
  • Nathan Mertens
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Jack Wallingford
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Keith Roberts
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • David Boehm
    • $250 
    • 10 mos

Organizer and beneficiary

Kate Larson Loecken
Bemidji, MN
Amanda Moran

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