AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Central Texas family is crediting their faith and doctors at Dell Children’s Comprehensive Fetal Care Center for saving their newborn’s life.
The center is designed for moms whose babies have been diagnosed with a complex fetal or congenital condition. It offers immediate, specialized treatment and care after birth.
During Julie Hyde’s pregnancy, her son Blake was diagnosed with a rare complex heart defect called total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a baby with TAPVR, oxygen-rich blood does not return from the lungs to the left atrium. Instead, the oxygen-rich blood returns to the right side of the heart. Here, oxygen-rich blood mixes with oxygen-poor blood. Doctors said this causes the baby to get less oxygen than what is needed to the body.
Being born with this condition, within three hours after his birth, Blake was on the operating table for open-heart surgery. Although the family knew this could be their reality, it didn’t make it any easier.
“We knew that even if it was a small chance he had, we were going to give him that,” said Julie. “We felt really defeated. We thought we were possibly saying goodbye to him, and he may not come back to us.”
Dr. Charles Fraser, chief of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery at the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease and the pediatric cardiac care team at Dell Children’s, quickly prepared to perform Blake’s emergency heart surgery.
“You won’t find a more complicated problem that a newborn has,” Fraser explained. “He needed to have heart surgery within hours of birth. If he had to be transported to another hospital we would not have a survivor. His lungs were congested, and even transporting him across town, he would not have survived.”
The Hydes said they would not have been able to get the immediate specialized treatment after Blake’s birth where they live. After his surgery, they planned for a months-long stay. However, 35 days later he was discharged and sent to the Ronald McDonald House. Blake’s family is now expected to leave next week, reuniting Blake with his brothers.
“He’s a good eater and working on gaining weight which is taking a little longer,” Julie said. “He’s a little warrior, and he’s proving us all wrong that’s for sure. Our baby, I do believe, is a miracle.”