According to the Center for Disease Control, about 960 children in the United States are born yearly with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Little Jack Palmer happens to be one of them, but his story is phenomenal.
When Chuck and Tiffany Palmer learned they were expecting a boy, they were elated. However, their hopes were dashed when, at 20 weeks, the fetus was diagnosed with a hypoplastic left heart disorder. This anomaly is marked in newborns by a weak pulse, difficulty in breathing, and bluish looks. Medical experts declared that the child would not make it to full term.
To everyone’s surprise, baby Jack made it. At birth, however, it was discovered that his lungs also had a problem, known as intact atrial septum. This means that the natural opening in the heart through which blood is meant to flow was blocked. It was as though things went from bad to worse for the Palmers.
The distraught parents were given two options; cease treatment, or put the baby in a long list of patients waiting for a heart-lung transplant. They chose the latter. After 5 months of hoping and praying, the pair of organs turned up. Not only did the transplant give Jack a fighting chance, but it also got him released from the hospital just in time for his eight-month celebration.
Jack has been crowned the youngest child to receive a simultaneous heart-lung transplant.
Now, Jack is healthy with a pinkish glow peculiar to kids. Not only that, he is growing at an impressive rate. He has outgrown his 12-month clothing and begun wearing clothes for 18-month old babies. Although Jack’s condition is lifelong, it can be managed with the right medication.
If he makes it to a year, he will smash yet another record as the first infant to undergo such a surgery and live that long. We pray he does!