My Doernbecher Story
My son Reed Michael Chandler was born May 27,1997 in La Grande.He was full term and weighed 9 lbs.Everything seemed fine,until the nurse heard a heart murmur and a pediatrician determined he needed immediate care.Reed was life-flighted to Doernbecher where it was found that he had Aortic Stenosis,and needed surgery to open up his aortic valve.The night before he was supposed to have the surgery,Dr. Grant Burch heard about Reed's case and offered a simpler procedure he could do in the catheder lab,in which he would pop the valve open with a tiny balloon inserted through a tube going from an incision in Reed's thigh and up into his heart.Reed did well,and we were able to take our newborn home after 5 days in the NICU.
Reed had a few more of those procedures over the next few years,but finally needed open heart surgery to replace the defective valve in 2002(almost 5 yrs old).Dr. Ross Ungerlieder performed his Ross Procedure,replacing Reed's aortic valve with his own pulminary valve and replacing the pulminary valve with a donor valve from an older child.Reed was only in the ICU for 2 days,and a regular room for 2 more days,before he was released.There have been more cathederizations,but only exploratory,in which a tiny camera is run up the tube into the heart.
In October 2009,he fainted and ended up at Doernbecher for a few days.It turned out that he was having episodes of arrhythmia,probably increased by his ADHD meds.He was taken off of those meds and sent home with a small monitor inserted under his skin for a couple months.Reed did fine until this January(2012) when one of his teachers called saying he was very pale,weak,dizzy,and having a hard time breathing.My husband took him to the ER where they medicated him to slow down his heart rate of over 200 bpm.Reed was life-flighted to Doernbecher where they checked for blood clots and then treated the tachycardia by "shocking" his heart back into a more normal rate/rhythm.He was also started on Atenolol to keep the heart rate down and aspirin to thin the blood.Then in March, Reed had an echo cardiogram,stress exercise test,and cardiac MRI.Because of those test results,Dr. Burch has planned to do an Exploratory Catheder in May,and then Reed will probably have open heart surgery in!
June to replace his leaking mitral valve(behind the aortic valve) with a mechanical valve.
Our family really appreciates the staff at Doernbecher and all they do for children.We love that we can stay in the room with Reed,and that the nurses try to make the stay as comfortable as possible for patient and family.We are very thankful for Doernbecher Children's Hospital,and for the way God works through the staff to help heal our child!God gave me a promise in a Bible verse when Reed was 1 year old - "A bruised REED I will not break..." Matthew 12:20.