Meet Keaton: A heart-warming story

2013-04-24 13:06:30 by Holly Pierpont, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Our son Keaton and his twin brother, Brogan, were born in Canton, OH, on Dec. 20, 2009. When he was just three days old, a heart murmur was detected and we knew something was wrong.

Keaton had a very rare heart defect, "abnormal origin of the pulmonary artery," and his heart was repaired by the surgical team at Akron Children's Hospital on Jan. 5, 2010, when he was just 16 days old and less than 5 lbs.

Keaton was transferred to Akron Children's Hospital on Dec. 28 where he received the best care possible via the NICU team of nurses and doctors, as well as the doctors from the heart center and nephrology. We knew we were in great hands. But it was still all very scary and we were told he was critically ill, and their most complex patient at the time.

Keaton was critically ill for two weeks prior to surgery - dealing with issues including congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and renal (kidney) failure. We really weren't sure if Keaton was going to make it through all that he was dealing with.

When the surgeons felt Keaton had finally reached a safe point for surgery, we encountered the scariest day of our life. Putting his heart and lungs on a bypass machine, while they repaired his heart, we sat awaiting news of the results.

A few hours later, his heart was repaired and his health improved greatly in the PICU over the following week. He soon came home to be with his twin and older brother, Nolan, when he was 39 days old.

Since then we are frequent visitors at the Heart Center (his cardiologist is Dr. Bockoven) and we feel like family there. We know we will need to visit often to see how Keaton's heart will grow with him, and maybe need surgery again one day. But we also know we have nothing but the best care possible at Akron Children's Hospital and that brings us great comfort.

We are forever indebted to the team of doctors and medical specialists that truly saved his life. He is here with us today, thanks to them...

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