CARING FOR KIDS

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CARING FOR KIDS

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It was during a routine ultrasound that Melissa and Chris Burns discovered that their son, James, had a rare condition called TGA, which stands for Transposition of the Great Arteries. This occurs when the heart's pulmonary artery and aorta are reversed, resulting in oxegyn-rich blood being sent back to the lungs, while oxegyn-poor blood recirculates through the body, depriving vital organs. They were told that without immediate surgery, James would've died.

 

Hours after birth, James had a balloon septostomy to improve blood flow through the heart and was given medication to keep his valves open. He was then flown to Edmonton later that week to undergo open heart surgery to switch the arteries. During this surgery, a heart-lung bypass machine ensures the body continues to receive oxygenated blood while surgeons stop and cool the heart, allowing them to operate.

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Five months later, James had a valvuloplasty done to repair his pulmonary artery, which had become narrowed. That procedure was unsuccessful, so he underwent another open heart surgery. The severity of James’ pulmonary stenosis was reduced, but never finalized. 

 

Despite this, James is now a curious four-year-old, and a caring overseer of his little brother, Leo. Because he still has pressure in his pulmonary artery, he still receives regular check-ups at the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, and will likely need a future heart valve replacement. But Melissa and Chris are optimistic thanks to the high level of care they received at CHF. 

 

“We come to the hospital in our worst, most fearful moments, and yet when you step in there is always a sense of calm," Chris said. "The staff and professionals at the Children’s Hospital take you at your worst, and bring you ease not only through their expertise but through personal connections.”

 

By 'Caring For Kids', you can help to ensure quality care for children like James continues, and make a major difference in the lives of many Manitoba families. To donate and learn more, visit the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba's website