A Broken Heart

35,000 children are born with heart defects every year (American Heart Association)
Only 1% of those children have truncus arteriosus (many sources, including the Herma Heart Center where Turnip may be treated)
That means about 350 babies are born in the U.S. with the same condition as Turnip every year. (330 according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from jan 6, 2006)
Surgery usually happens at 6-12 weeks (EPA, page 4)
15-50% of children require another surgery within the next five years (i.b.i.d.)
All heart valves are replaced after 12 years(i.b.i.d.)
Newborns with truncus arteriosus stayed in the hospital for an average of 30 days during 2003 (CDC, table 2)
The hospital charges for this stay (not including lab tests and doctor fees) ran to $200,000 (CDC, table 2)
In a small study published in 1996, 6% of infants died before surgery and 10% died during surgery (EPA, page 4)
In a national survey, 20% of newborns with truncus arteriosus died in the hospital in 2003 (CDC, table 1)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

old news?

Watching 60 minutes today, I learned that snowboarder Shaun White was born with a congenital heart defect (ToF) and had open heart surgery as a baby. Seeing the picture of his baby-self with big chest bandages jerked me back a year. Then, seeing him fly though the air brought home the cardiologist's comment at our last appointment. He said he'd find a sport for Oliver for every season, if that's what he wanted when he got older.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010


...good for what ails you.

Oliver still prefers his bottles. For a while, he started eating more, but now he's back to a few bites of this, a little taste of that, and "give me my bottle NOW!"