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Mason the Warrior

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis and Ventricular Hypertrophy of the Right Ventrical

Mason was born via scheduled C-Section on March 5th weighing 8 lbs 6 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. We were young and unprepared but so excited for our first baby! Little did we know that Mason was going to be born with a heart problem.

We went to all of our ultrasounds, did all of our testing, and everything came back fine. He was a healthy baby boy! Wrong. Mason was born with pulmonary Valve Stenosis and Ventricular Hypertrophy of the right Ventrical, and nobody saw it coming.

I remember vividly, being in the OR and telling my husband, Seth, "No matter what happens, stay with him. Dont worry about me, just stay with the baby". When Mason came out, he was very blue. They rushed him over to the table to start working on him. I remember hearing a big burst of 1 cry, then nothing. His oxygen was in the 60's%. They got him into the nursery (He was born at Holy Family, so not that big of NICU), and started running tests. They did an echocardiogram and still couldnt exactly pin-point the problem as to why Mason wasnt breathing. They decided to transfer him up to Sacred Heart before I even had the chance to see him.

After ariving, they ran a series of more tests on Mason, including X-Rays, blood draws, another echo, the list goes on. At this point he was ventilated and hooked up to every monitor you could think of. During the echo, they found his Pulmonary Valve was completely closed. He was put on the schedule to have a Heart Cath the next morning to see if Garabedian could open it up at all. Since I couldnt be there (I was still recovering from my C Section at Holy Family), Seth and his mom were up at Sacred Heart, to be with Mason and waiting to hear the news from his procedure. Opening up the valve was a success. However, he still wasnt out of the woods.

I left the hospital and went straight up to Sacred Heart to see Mason. Not being able to hold my baby was one of the hardest things a parent could go through after just having a baby. The nurses let us change his diapers and take his temperature. At this point, it was just a waiting game to see if Mason's body would start to recover on its own. His valve was still leaky and had backshunting, so his lungs still weren't getting the blood they needed. They had him on all sorts of medications to keep him stable and comfortable. One of them being a medication to keep his PDA valve open, which in turn gave him weird red splotches all over his body.

At 5 days old, Garabedian came in to suggest we think about letting them place a BT shunt in his heart. He also let us know, that would mean having to open his chest. After going over all of Mason's test's and seeing he wasnt getting better, everybody agreed that surgery would be our best course of action. He was scheduled for the next day.

We walked with Mason as far as we could before giving him loves and sending him off with the team of surgeons and nurses. Then it was time to wait. After several hours, the Dr came to tell us it was a success and his oxygen was already in the high 70's and low 80's. We went back to see Mason and give him loves, but they all wanted him to rest so Seth and I went to grab some lunch. When we returned, we learned that both of Mason's lungs collapsed. They were able to get him stablized again and kept a close eye on him. From there he started to improve. After starting to learn to eat, Mason was sent home at 15 days old with oxygen and an NG tube for feeding which ended up both of which being discontinued within 2 months after discharge. He also got sent home on 6 different medications, including one that made him really sleepy a good portion of the time. Those were eventually discontinued around 8 months except the aspirin which he still takes daily as a blood thinner.

Mason has had a couple more heart Caths here and there. One to place a stent, one to check the pressures in his heart, mostly just little maintenance. Mason will have to have his Pulmonary Valve replaced at some point in his life, but we all agree to try to put it off as long as we can as long as Mason is tollerating it. We have to keep an eye out for arrhythmias with him, but Garabedian has given us the go ahead to let him live his life as long as his body tollerates it.

Mason is now 4 years old and a happy and healthy little boy. He is slightly developmentally delayed from being as sedated as long as he was in the hospital and for the few months after, but he is making leaps and bounds catching up! He just started preschool last year and is excited to go back in the fall. He loves to ride his strider bike and has been competing in BMX racing with it. He also has 3 younger siblings that he just absolutely adores! With the 3 other kids, I got a fetal echo while I was still pregnant and they are all fine with no heart problems. So now the next step for Mason's journey, is just to wait and enjoy the ride!

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