Stories about: Biventricular Repair

Sonia’s story: Saving hearts a world away

ALL PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE GEAMBASU/CONOVARU FAMILY

When Sonia Conovaru was born in Romania in 2007 with a number of complex congenital heart defects, she was given a 10 percent chance of living 12 months. Her mom, Oana Geambasu, a young acting student, didn’t know anything about health care, but knew she wasn’t willing to accept that outcome. It was the start of a journey that would take them thousands of miles and forever change the course of their lives.

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Against all odds: Colin’s biventricular repair

Colin, who had a biventricular repair, climbs onto the table during his office visit.

Catherine and Julio Pita were already seasoned parents when they learned they were expecting their sixth child. But when an ultrasound at Catherine’s 16-week prenatal visit showed their baby had a hole in his heart, they were surprised and unprepared.

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Samuel’s heart: After four years and four surgeries, it’s the healthiest it’s ever been

Samuel, who had a biventricular repair on his heart, wears his heart hero costume.

When Samuel Guinn was born, his parents, Jennifer and Grant, expected at least one surprise. The couple from Jennings, Louisiana had chosen not to learn their third baby’s gender ahead of delivery. But soon after their beautiful boy’s birth, they got an unexpected surprise — he had a serious heart condition.

“Within an hour, the doctors noticed a heart murmur and transferred him to a larger hospital in Louisiana,” says Jennifer. “Once he was there, they diagnosed him with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) and a ventricular septal defect (VSD), but they couldn’t keep him stable, so they told us they wanted to send him to a bigger hospital in New Orleans.”

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Danny’s journey to a biventricular heart

Danny, born with heterotaxy syndrome, peeks out from a tree.The first hint that something wasn’t quite right with Danny Sanchez-Garcia’s heart came at his mom’s six-month prenatal visit.

“There was a little blip on the ultrasound, but then it was gone on the next one, so they didn’t think it was anything and I didn’t worry any more about it,” says Danny’s mom, Cynthia.

Cynthia was overjoyed when Danny was born at her local hospital seeming perfectly healthy. But as the hospital staff monitored Danny overnight, they noticed his oxygen level was lower than normal and decided to run more tests. His doctors believed the tests pointed to a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia.

“They transported him overnight to Boston Children’s Hospital,” says Cynthia. “I felt like I was on a roller coaster, especially as a first-time mom.”

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