Ayana’s Story

We were expecting our first child and we were excited for our 20 week ultrasound where we would get to see our baby and hopefully find out the gender. We entered the ultrasound with expectation and excitement. The technician took all the pictures but informed us that she couldn’t see the heart very well. She didn’t seem concerned and so neither were we.

They made us another appointment to come back in a couple weeks to take another look. It was during this appointment that we found out that there was something wrong with our little baby’s heart. We didn’t have a name for it yet but we knew that there was something wrong when the radiologist came to talk to us and we were referred to fetal cardiology.

30443235_10156635496197079_4924867616243187712_o.jpgOur first appointment with the cardiologist was just a couple weeks later where we were given a name for our baby’s condition… Tetralogy of Fallot with a right sided aortic arch. It sounded so scary but Dr. Kakedakar did a good job of explaining it to us. One of the concerns was that this condition was often a result of a genetic syndrome. We chose not to do an amniocentesis but rather to wait until birth to test for the genetic condition. Those were the longest 4 months, excited to meet our new little baby but terrified as to what the future may have in store for our family.

I was induced at 38.5 weeks at the Regina General Hospital with the doctors and the respiratory support team standing by. Our sweet baby girl, Ayana Rose, arrived weighing a healthy 7 lbs 10 oz. She spent the first 24 hours in the NICU under close observation but did not need any intervention. Since the beginning our strong little girl has exceeded all our expectations! She tested negative for any genetic conditions, maintained oxygen sats at close to 100%, stayed at the 50th percentile for weight and above that for height. She was doing so well but her routine cardiology appointments showed that despite not having any blue spells, her pressures were increasing and that they were recommending Ayana for open heart surgery.

When Ayana was 3 months old we made our way to Edmonton for Ayana’s surgery at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. We met the cardiology team and left her in the capable hands of Dr. Freed, her surgeon. Ayana has never ceased to amaze us. She spent 2 nights in the Pediatric Cardiology ICU, one night in the Intermediate Care Room and 2 nights on the ward.

Five nights in the hospital and we got to take our strong little warrior home with a fixed heart!

In the past year since her surgery, Ayana has climbed off the chart for weight and is sitting above 95th percentile for height. She is exceeding all her developmental milestones and brings so much joy to our family and everyone who meets her! God gave our little girl a special story and we hope she can continue to give hope to other families faced with Congenital Heart Disease.

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