Chris and Ashton Hodge are young people who are about to have a son. They were very responsible about having a baby, so they were able to pass all of their tests on time. At one, doctors gave a very bad diagnosis: the boy has a condition called hypoplastic heart syndrome. After being born, the baby had surgery.
This is a terrible diagnosis, and only a small number of people survive it. The boy lived through nine heart surgeries, during which he had to be resuscitated three times. He also had a stroke. To live through something like that is just a miracle!
The boy weighed only 2 kg when he was born, so he was still getting ready for surgery to help him get stronger. During the first week, doctors did the Norwood procedure, which is meant to improve the flow of blood. The first surgery was done when he was only a week old.
Everyone worried a lot about this baby. The child was by himself with the doctors and all these medical tools. But they knew he was fighting for his life, too. He was finally let out of the hospital after a year and three months. Soon, though, he had another stroke, and the baby had to be taken to the hospital.
The baby feels fine right now, but he will need a new heart in the future. Even though Jack had to go through a lot, he is a very happy boy. He always smiles and makes people happy. This boy is a real hero, and he’s going to do great things.
He will need a transplant, though, and it looks like he will never be able to do anything very physically demanding. He also needs to take about a dozen different pills about four times a day, as well as three different injections.
“We knew about his condition before he was born, and he spent the first five months of his life in the hospital,” his father said. He had to have open-heart surgery when he was just one week old, and he’s had three more since then. Jack was only 4 pounds and 4 ounces when he was born, and this has slowed his growth.
“We’re both so proud of him. He’s a very inspiring boy,” says his dad.