At 3 weeks, old Asher was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. CF is a genetic disease which causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. This thick buildup causes persistent lung infections, affects the ability to breath over time, causes lung damage, and eventually respiratory failure. At 1 ½ years old Asher was rushed to the hospital and had to receive two blood transfusions and spent three weeks in the hospital. We were told his liver was shutting down due to a combination of the Cystic Fibrosis and severe food allergies. Asher was diagnosed with 43 different food allergies but what made it so interesting was he does not show any external signs or symptoms only internal. In 2015 Asher was given the diagnosis of Asthma as well. Asher attends Piedmont Primary this year and is in Mrs. Kari Gold’s class.
Ace was born with a complex and rare congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome or HLHS. He was diagnosed in utero. His condition is not hereditary. With HLHS, the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped and does not allow his heart to effectively pump blood to the rest of his body. Current treatment for this condition is a series of 3 surgeries; the first one is done within a week or less of birth (4 days of age) which reconstructs the aorta to connect it to the right ventricle so blood can be pumped to the body. The others are done as heart function dictates and more repairs are made to the large veins attached to the heart along with shunts that allow improved function to both lungs and body on only half of a heart. Ace has had all three surgeries and several other procedures that are considered closed-heart surgeries. His condition is terminal and the only possibility is to have a heart transplant in the future as determined by the cardiologist. He takes heart medication daily, has to be monitored for oxygen and he is always at risk for an ICU stay with a cold or virus since his immune system is weakened by this condition. He has doctors in OKC and at Dallas Children’s Medical Center that monitor his condition several times per year. Ace is 6 years old and is currently a kindergartener in Mrs. Downing’s class at Piedmont Elementary.
Zane’s heart condition is a combination of defects known collectively as Tetralogy of Fallot or TET for short. He was also diagnosed before birth. His condition is hereditary. Zane’s first open heart surgery was done at 14 days old. That surgery corrected one of the defects known as Ventricular septal defect or hole in the heart. Zane had a hole between his right and left pumping chambers of his heart and the doctors repaired the muscle in his septal wall so his heart would not mix blood and have pressure to pump effectively. Another defect caused narrowing of his pulmonary valve which was blocked so it was removed and then patched. Since there is no valve in place and due to growth, the right side of the heart is enlarging and putting pressure on the left side of the heart and must be fixed. Zane is scheduled to have his second open heart surgery to receive a valve in March or April of 2017 at either Dallas Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX or in Chicago, IL where his original surgeon just transferred. The outlook for TET patients continues to improve and Zane’s next surgery should provide him with close to normal function into early adulthood. He is 4 years old and attends Piedmont Primary in Mrs. Wiegerts class.