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Liam is Overcoming Life-Threatening Heart Defects

150 Years Stronger Patient Story  Liam

Liam’s parents considered him a “miracle baby” long before he was diagnosed with a complex and life-threatening heart condition. He already survived in utero his mother’s emergency appendectomy during her first trimester. During Pam’s 20-week prenatal ultrasound, they learned Liam’s tiny heart had multiple congenital defects, including a small right heart pump and narrowing of the valve to the lungs.

Brian and Pam followed up with specialists in cardiology, neurology, genetics and fetal medicine at Children’s National Hospital. The team counseled them regarding the complexities their son might face: circulation and nutrition problems, cardiac procedures and cognitive and neurodevelopmental delays.

“We didn’t know what life would be like for Liam or if he would survive to be born,” Brian recalls. Dr. Mary Donofrio, director of our Fetal Heart Program offered advice and hope. “She gave us reassurance and control when we felt like we had none.”

Liam had two major heart surgeries shortly after birth and faced another at six months old. “He’s definitely a little heart warrior,” says Brian, who also had surgery at Children’s National as a newborn—in his case for a hernia.

“He’s got lots of personality, a full head of hair and loves to eat,” Brian says about Liam. “He’s a strong little guy. Seeing the progress he’s made has been amazing. We could not be more thankful to Children’s National for the care—and for the compassion.”