Dixie, CHD, and the 4th of July…
As many of you may know, my daughter Dixie was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect/Disease (CHD) a few weeks after we welcomed her to the world. Soon after she had corrective surgery during 4th of July weekend. Dixie had open heart surgery at 3 months old to repair a large hole between her left and right ventricle caused by the heart condition Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), along with a corrective surgery to widen and remove a kink from her pulmonary valve to ensure that all of her vital organs received adequate oxygen through her bloodstream.
For any parent that has gone through this, I don’t have to tell you how emotionally draining and terrifying this whole experience can be. My knees began to collapse as I wheeled my 3 month old daughter down the halls of the hospital, nervously handing her over to the anesthesiologist. Knowing that we would not hear anything from the Doctor or Nursing staff for 6-7hrs and that her heart would be stopped for seconds as they connect her to a bypass machine, left me feeling helpless, more helpless than I have ever felt in my life.
Fortunately for Dixie, she may never need another surgery again and has experienced absolutely no physical or mental setbacks from the lack of oxygen in her bloodstream prior to surgery, or continued heart related issues related to the Congenital Heart Defect/Disease.
Not Everyone’s Journey Fairs So Well…
Ultimately, we were very fortunate to have come out this with such positive results. Unfortunately, not everyone that we encountered during our experience faired so well, through their child’s CHD journey. Some families did not have the same level of emotional support, nor did they have the financial means to be away from work, leaving one parent behind to care for their child, in some cases no parent at all.
Some children’s CHD’s aren’t as easily correctable, or in some cases not correctable at all. For example, my niece Haley has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart, and unlike Dixie’s CHD, she will live with this her entire life.
Haley’s fight has been a tough one, she wasn’t supposed to live long after birth. Despite the odds, she is now 17yrs old has had 4 successful open heart surgeries and 2 stints, all performed by Dr. Reddy, the same surgeon who performed my daughter’s surgery just 4 years ago this July. Despite such a difficult journey, Haley remains in great spirits. You would have no idea that someone who has lived through such traumatic events, would have such a positive outlook on life.
I’m writing this article to bring awareness to Congenital Heart Defects/Diseases. This cause is dear to my heart due to how it has affected my family. I am fortunate to be in a position to have a larger voice when it comes to spreading awareness for this cause. Pest Pros Pest Solutions is committed to making a difference in giving back through causes that have affected our friends, family and communities we serve.
Josh Fleenor | President | Pest Pros Pest Solutions
Please like, share and donate to this cause. For the month of July, a percentage of proceeds will be donated to UCSF Beniof Hospital Childrens Cardiac Wing.
You can donate directly by clicking here: CHD Awareness – Dixie Fleenor