Kaiden's heart surgery

For those of you who have met Kaiden, you know his constant smile can be met with a wave or hello/goodbye. This little man’s big heart comes with a few challenges. At 9 months we were at a doctors appointment were they recognized a heart murmur. Suddenly we were in a whirlwind of appointments and testing, Kaiden was diagnosed with an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart. ASD is a defect in the septum between the heart's two upper chambers (atria). Simply put, ASD is a "hole" in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. As you can imagine this was a very difficult time for our family and a lot of questions about what this means for Kaiden’s future are still left unanswered. Kaiden recently met with a cardiologist for a check-up, where the ASD is still present and has not closed up on its own like they hoped it would. The next step will be monitoring and he will undergo surgery when he is 3 to repair it. Or so we thought this is the way it would go. We decided to get a second opinion the findings were similar but with some new updates. The hole in his heart is at 12mm if u think of a 19 month olds fist and 12mm it is a very large hole. They also found one of the walls of his heart was starting to not grow correctly because that chamber is working so hard. They did not feel waiting till three to make the fix was a good idea and wanted to get it done sooner. The other question was could we still do it within a Cath knowing what we did now about the wall being damaged? The answers was not known until we sent the pictures of Kaiden's heart to the surgeon who would be fixing Kaiden's heart. A week passed we got a call that the Cath surgery should still fix the issue and we should not have to have open heart surgery done in Omaha. The surgeon who is performing the surgery only comes up to Sioux Falls quarterly and his next time here is November 19th and 20th. Which means we will now have this done in less than a month, something we were not expecting so soon, with Kaiden's little brother on the way due January 20th along with echo, tests, and the surgery itself balancing it all and keeping up will catch up to us quick. In all outward appearances, Kaiden is an active, happy 19 month-old who has developed a new fondness for swimming, running, and his best friend is “puppy” (our mini-dachshund Buster). We want him to grow and stay active like the other healthy kids! More than 36,000 babies are born each year with Congenital Heart Defects. Please help us reach this lifesaving goal by donating today. Together, we can give Kaiden a healthier, longer life.


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Tina Wrightsman 
Sioux Falls, SD
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