“At just four days old, our daughter came down with a bad case of jaundice and dehydration. We were scheduled to see Dr. Ana Paredes for hydronephosis of Natalie's left kidney. At that time we didn't know how severe her health problems were. Dr. Paredes said Natalie's bilirubin levels were too high to let us drive back to Key West, and said she must admit her that day. She was very kind to us, letting us sit in her office with our baby while we waited for bed space. We were admitted soon after.
Through the night, the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse noticed that even while on oxygen, Natalie was feeding poorly. She asked that Dr. Jeffries order more diagnostic tests for Saturday morning. I woke up to pump milk for the baby and was informed that Natalie was being moved to the room next door for babies in more serious condition. One hour later, I was in shock as a team of nurses and doctors surrounded Natalie's bed and I was kept from seeing her.
Dr. Prada and Dr. Aldousany carefully explained to me that in the early morning, the doctors discovered a heart murmur and that soon after the murmur was starting to go away. Tests showed that she was born with congenital heart defects, more specifically Shone's complex. Within the hour, Natalie was transferred to cardiac intensive care, where she waited to undergo open heart surgery.
Dr. Redmund Burke repaired the coarctation of the aorta, and VSD at one week of age. Natalie recovered very well and we were only admitted for a total of thirteen days in all. Unfortunately, her coarctation needed to be ballooned by Dr. Danyal Khan two more times in her first few months of life. We are happy to report that with referrals to cardiology and nephrology at the Cleveland Clinic, we were able to make a smooth transition after our move to Cleveland. Natalie had her second open heart surgery at CCF in January 2010, g-tube placement in June 2010, and may need a third open heart surgery around her second birthday—even though she's been through so much her first year.”