Piper was born blue. The doctor thought she just needed some oxygen to clear her lungs, so we relaxed thinking this was a fairly normal situation. However, as two hours passed without seeing or holding our child, we began to wonder if something was really wrong. After some consultation, it was decided that Piper needed to be sent via ambulance to Children’s Hospital of Colorado for tests. Upon arrival, they rushed Piper in to get an echo. About 15 minutes later, the doctor explained that Piper was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) and had several large Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs). Bottom line, Piper required open heart surgery to live.
At the time, my first thought was that Piper wasn’t going to make it. They had to stabilize her for five days before they could perform the surgery. The operation took a grueling 14 hours from start to finish. As if that weren’t enough, we got a phone call at 2 a.m. with more bad news. We were told that Piper was very swollen and they needed to open her chest to relieve the swelling. Piper was unrecognizable—attached to what seemed like hundreds of tubes and cords.
After several setbacks, Piper started to turn around. She was gaining weight, and would soon be able to come off the ventilator. During this entire time, Jennifer didn’t get to hold Piper. It’s an incredibly tough and heartbreaking situation to live through. You want to be emotionally connected, but that makes it much harder if you then lose the baby.
After six weeks, Piper was taken off the ventilator and could start eating normally. Very quickly after that she improved so much that we finally got to take her home. Now she is healthy girl with no further treatment needed.
We credit our faith in the Lord getting us through and the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s and specifically the Heart Institute.