Killian – Update on a Congenital Heart Defect Warrior

image1.JPGFebruary is Heart Awareness month.

Mention heart disease or heart surgery and one may automatically assume that it is an older person, perhaps one who has lived a life full of rich indulgences resulting in heart disease. But the truth is that many heart diseases and defects are present at birth. Congenital Heart Defects are the most common birth defect type. Melissa has shared her son Killian’s story previously on TMC for Children. During Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week Melissa updates us on Killian’s progress and the action it’s spurred her to take. 

melissa and Killian

Melissa and baby Killian

In 2012 our son Killian was born in critical condition with an undiagnosed heart defect. He is here today through a series of miracles, beginning with Dr. Brian Blair working tirelessly through Killian’s first night, making calls and searching for a surgeon willing to take his case.

At three and a half years old, Killian has now had four major open-heart surgeries, five catheterizations, and three related operations. Through it all we have found a hub at Arizona Pediatric Cardiology, with Dr. Blair and his staff at the helm of our care team.

Because our stories are so similar, Stacy Lipinczyk and I have recently formed a non-profit organization called CHD (Congenital Heart Defects) Families of Tucson. We work to empower parents of CHD children by creating paths to accessible resources. We want our community to know what their options are when their child has a serious heart defect.

Although we are committed to serving families regardless of where they receive treatment, CHD Families of Tucson has an intentional, intersectional relationship with Tucson Medical Center.

The partnership TMC for Children has with Phoenix Children’s Hospital allows for a seamless transition between our routine home cardiology visits and the emergencies that are best handled by the only Cardiovascular ICU in the state of Arizona. Both Kinley and Killian would not be here today without that level of care.

To read more about Killian check out these posts. Kinley’s story coming soon!