Our family grew by two feet when Sutton Charlie Neer was born January 5th, 2010. By all accounts, the delivery went perfect and he was a happy healthy baby. Prior to being discharged, we were notified that Sutton had a noticeable heart murmur that would be checked on our first pediatrician visit a week later. At that first appointment, we decided to have an echocardiogram. Two days after the echo, our pediatrician called me at home and we met with a cardiologist from Children’s Hospital in Spokane two hours later. They sat us down to inform us that Sutton has a congenital heart condition called Aortic Stenosis, which is the thickening of the aortic valve. Based on how much thickening there was the doctors decided that we needed to do a balloon valvuloplasty in the next two weeks. We would likely do the balloon a few more times until he was full-grown and then perform open-heart surgery to replace the valve. The balloon vavluloplasty was a success. Two months later a significant amount of leakage was found in the mitral valve that was very concerning to the doctors. They believe that the leakage was caused by pressure during the balloon. One week later, our cardiologist called to let us know that open-heart surgery was needed immediately. Sutton had open-heart surgery on July 21, 2010. Although we believed he was recovering well, we found that he was hemolysizing but doctors would not be able to determine the cause. Because of the hemolysis, he developed kidney failure and then sepsis took over. Ultimately, his body could no longer fight the fight and we lost our lil man on August 19, 2010. He is still a part of everything we do and we love him so very much.
You can follow the daily journal of his fight here… http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/suttonneer