Cardiac Surgeon Saves Baby with Multiple, Life-Threatening Defects
Six months into her pregnancy, Linda, Claire's Mom, was told by doctors her unborn baby had severe congenital heart defects. Diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a hole between the lower chambers of the heart and an obstruction that constricts the flow of oxygenated blood from the lungs, which causes fatigue and cyanosis (blueness from lack of oxygen). To repair these complex heart disorders, Claire would require lifesaving open heart surgery before her first birthday to survive to adulthood.
Stunned and shocked by the news, Linda and her husband, Mercy, researched treatment options and visited hospitals throughout the United States to find the right team of skilled surgeons to perform the delicate surgery their child would need. "We would have gone anywhere to get our child the best medical care possible," says Linda.
When Claire's parents met Richard A. Perryman, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgical Services at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and Memorial Regional Hospital, they knew the search was over. "Not only did he and his team have the medical expertise and superior skills," says Linda, "but the hospital was close to home and far surpassed anything we had seen... I was very confident that Dr. Perryman and the cardiac team would be the right doctors. They were familiar with the surgical procedure and prepared us for each and every step of the process." Furthermore Dr. Perryman is regularly listed in "America's Top Doctors" and has been performing pediatric cardiac surgery for more than 25 years.
Baby Claire underwent complex open heart surgery when she was seven months old. Claire's surgery was very successful, and she was released from the hospital after five days. Today, she is like any other happy, active toddler. "She was walking at 9 months," says Linda. "She's vibrant, feisty and definitely the boss in this house."
Linda says she owes a large debt of gratitude to the highly trained and compassionate medical and nursing team that saved her daughter's life. "Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is phenomenal," she says. "The doctors and staff know medicine and understand the needs of the parents when children are sick. Thanks to them, Claire can now look forward to a bright future."