Hometown Hero: Mothers Caring For Children With CHD

By: Brett Baldeck Email
By: Brett Baldeck Email

For Venica Pollard the reality of a Congenital Heart Defect hit soon after the birth of her daughter Zoey.

"She was born by emergency c-section and as soon as she came out she matched the surgical gloves. She was blue as can be. They took her straight down to the NICU Unit because she was premature on top of it and was struggling to breath. So they put her on a ventilator," says Pollard.

Hearing the news something may be wrong with your newborn is all too familiar for Lara Barnhouse. Her son Cullen was born with multiple birth defects including at least four in his heart alone.

She says it's a long road to better days.

"He has had two open heart surgeries and he has had three cardiac caths. He is 4 years old and there are more surgeries to come. We will definitely have to have his pulmonary valve replaced," says Barnhouse.

While news of CHD is tough to take for any mother, Tracy Oliver took a proactive approach. At 3 weeks old a heart murmur revealed an enlarged heart for her son Nathan.

Although frightening, she knew the importance of finding the best care.

"Instant fear and devastation and uncertainty. You know we kinda started just doing our own research and being our own advocate and talking to the medical team, trying to find out what the best answers for us was," says Oliver.

More answers are coming for families.

Susan Waggoner was told her son Dalton had only weeks to live.

As time goes on she hopes everyone continues their support to find an answer.

"He would have gone home and passed away and we would have thought it was something normal you know, maybe sids or something. So the research and development and just to know that these kids are in our community," says Waggoner.

For sharing their struggles to inform all of us about CHD we honor these mothers and all families as this week's Hometown Hero.

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