During what was scheduled to be a routine ultrasound for her third pregnancy, Susan Harris learned that a defect had been found in her developing child’s heart. Doctors also informed her that her child would have Down syndrome. Susan would need to visit the IWK first on a monthly basis, and then weekly to have ultrasounds to track the health of her baby.
Months later, Susan and her husband Nick welcomed their beautiful daughter, Jayna. Only hours old, Jayna was immediately sent for an echocardiogram that confirmed she had an atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) — a defect where there are holes between the chambers of the heart. The valves that control the flow of blood between these chambers also may not be formed correctly.
Jayna’s doctors determined that she would need surgery to repair her AVSD before she was six months old. Although extremely serious, Jayna was able to go home within 36 hours under strict observation from her parents.
Jayna was scheduled for heart surgery in February, but she came down with a cold making surgery too dangerous. February came and went, and so did March.
Finally, in April, Jayna was well enough for her surgery. For 12 hours, her IWK care team worked to repair her heart, while her family anxiously waited. Susan and Nick were nervous, but they knew that Jayna was in the best hands possible at the IWK. The support of donors, like you, ensured life-saving equipment and world-class care was there for Jayna.
The surgery went extremely well. Jayna remained under sedation for four days and under observation for two days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), before moving to another inpatient unit at the IWK until she fully recovered. From the operating room suites to the life-saving equipment, as a donor, you were part of Jayna’s journey.
Because of your support, today, Jayna is an active and happy little girl who’s babbling, learning to crawl and loves playing with her brothers, Micah and Caleb.