Jaxon's heart was barely the size of a walnut. And he needed an operation...

By La Fondation,

Tuesday, my little Jaxon, only 10 months old, underwent his second open heart surgery. How many people do you know that have been operated on over five times before turning one?

My first pregnancy went so well, I didn’t even consider that the second one wouldn’t. I gave birth to a little boy, Jaxon, without too many complications. However, within the first hour of his life, Jaxon turned blue. Worry set in, especially once I was told that he needed to be rushed to the Children’s as his body wasn’t receiving enough oxygen.

The telephone rang – it was a doctor from the Children’s. I was asked to give consent for an operation on Jaxon’s heart. Immediately.  And if I refused? “He won’t survive.”

Therefore, I left the hospital in Chateauguay with my spouse, Philippe, to go give our consent. Only twelve hours old, Jaxon underwent a Rashkind atrioseptotomy. This is an operation that involves artificially creating a connection between the right and left atriums of his heart. I was barely able to understand what was about to happen to my baby, but I knew we were in good hands and that time was of the essence.

Once the immediate danger had passed, we learned the reason for the emergency surgery: he had a cardiac malformation known as TGA, transposition of the great arteries. His aorta and his pulmonary artery are inverted and our baby would once again have to go under the knife.

At 7 days old, Jaxon was again on the operating table for his second surgery. At this age, his heart was the size of a walnut; image the size of his arteries! The doctors were prudent and vigilant, crucial to the survival of my son. Seeing Jaxon intubated and surrounded by machines gave me goosebumps.

Following the operation, Jaxon was so swollen that the doctors chose to leave his chest open. We could actually see his little heart beating. This lasted for a week; an incredibly trying week watching Jaxon fight to stay alive. Fortunately, the doctors re-operated on him and closed his chest cavity.

Jaxon stayed at the hospital for 50 days, bedridden, we could not touch him or hold him in our arms. The doctors were incredibly supportive throughout this trying time. We were at the hospital for Christmas and our family was given gifts. They offered us a private room to rest when we were tired.

Today, Jaxon is a bit smaller than other kids his age. It’s normal – he wasn’t breastfed for his first month and a half of his life. He is catching up, albeit slowly, and for that we are grateful and proud. Other than the scar on his stomach, he doesn’t look sick. For many years to come, Jaxon will be followed closely by a group of experts at the Children’s. These are trustworthy people, the best in their field. I now consider them a part of the family.

Your donations are important for families. They take a weight off our shoulders and allow us to focus on what is most important: the health of our child. From the bottom of our heart, thank you for your generosity.

- Chanelle, Jaxon’s mom

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