What began as a routine checkup during her 36th week of pregnancy, turned out to be a surprisingly daunting diagnosis for Sylvia, and her unborn baby, Luis Fernando, nicknamed Luife.
While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect, where the large vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs and to the body, were improperly connected. His heart, as described by Redmond Burke M.D.
, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery
at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, was like a “jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces put together backwards.”
Sylvia was living in Venezuela and her doctors recommended she seek treatment in Miami. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. With little time to lose, the pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together.
Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” (which his mom says he earned because he's a warrior!) with pride. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as playing soccer, tennis, and running.