At 16 weeks pregnant we found out that our son had multiple heart defects. We were sent to meet with Mary Donofrio, MD, at Children's National and I consider that to be the appointment that saved our son’s life.
While in utero, our son was diagnosed with Levo-transposition of the great arteries (L-TGA), dextrocardia, pulmonary atresia, and a ventricular septal defect (VSD). This was all like learning a foreign language to us and Dr. Donofrio was the best teacher we could have asked for.
We live well over an hour away from Children's National, so Brayden's birth had to be a well planned and executed performance if he was going to make it. Our social worker at Children's National, along with Dr. Donofrio and our obstetrician (OB), did all of the hard work for us, all we had to worry about was getting into town for his induction.
Brayden was born at 5:13 pm on September 5, 2012, and was immediately whisked away to Children's National. He spent his first 23 days of life in the Cardiac ICU. The doctors and nurses we met were nothing short of amazing. They explained everything to us, drew diagrams for us, talked us through everything they did for our son, and helped us try to bond with him the best we could.
He had a rough first 11 days, but at 12-days old he had a Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt placed and within a week he was home. We were back six months later for the Glenn procedure with Richard Jonas, MD, and again, the level of service, comfort, and compassion we felt from all of the doctors and nurses was amazing.
The world of congenital heart defects (CHD) is scary, but to know that there are people like those at Children's National to help guide you along the way is very comforting. Brayden is now a healthy, happy one-year-old little boy who is learning how to get into trouble and aggravate his big sister like any little brother should.
A simple 'thank you' will never be enough for those who have and continue to take care of our little guy.
Brayden's parents, Courtney and Dave