Christian the Crusader

Christian the Crusader

written by Jacki Oleskey, Christian’s mother

     Our journey began at a 20 week ultrasound that I was at because they had detected fibroids at

a previous ultrasound. Before the doctor could even get to that part, we were told that there

might be a problem with our son’s heart. We followed up the following week with another

ultrasound and cardiologist who verified that our son had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

(HLHS). We were at a loss of what to say or do. Before we left that appointment, we knew that

our son was going to be a fighter and because of that, we needed to give him every last chance

to prove that.

      We live in Leander, TX. The cardiologist had already told us that our son would not have a

chance if he was born in the Austin area. After looking at our options, we decided that he would

be born at Texas Children’s Hospital. We had our usual follow ups in Austin but then added

TCH to our list of appointments.

     At the beginning of May, we moved to Houston to await the birth of our son. He was induced at

39 weeks and was born on May 19, 2016, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs and 1oz. Off to a

great start! I was able to hold him for almost 10 minutes before they took him away to start all of

the testing.

     Christian did great right from the start. His case was presented to the surgeons on Monday the

23rd and it was decided that he would have the Norwood procedure on the 25th at 6 days old.

He thrived after surgery and didn’t have many issues and was released from TCH before he

was a month old. During some weekly routine follow ups at TCH, he was readmitted twice

during his second month of life for high blood pressure and a leaky tricuspid valve. On July 20th,

he was admitted to CVICU where he underwent a heart cath to balloon open is aortic arch that

had narrowed due to scarring during the reconstruction of his arch.

     We lived in Houston until his final surgery, the Glenn, which was done on September 19th. He

did well after surgery, but developed Chylothorax which extended his stay a few extra days and

was released after 10 days with a special new diet of nonfat formula, which he was not too

happy about.

What a ride it was! He fought, we fought!     

     On October 12th, we were finally given the OK to bring our warrior home to Leander! He’s been doing

great since being home and is now eight months old and thriving! Having met new heart families and

having organizations like Heart Heroes has helped us tremendously, knowing that  there are so many

people and resources out there to help our heart warriors and their families.

Posted in: Advocacy, Awareness, CHD, Heart Hero of the Month, Heart Heroes

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