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Devontae Sparks-Beals

When Devontae was born in May 2020, his care team thought something didn’t sound quite right with his heart. Devontae’s parents were shocked to learn their newborn baby had a large hole in his heart and he was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a common heart defect that’s present at birth. 

The team at the IWK’s Children’s Heart Centre didn’t feel Devontae needed heart surgery right away, but that he needed to be monitored closely. Smaller VSDs often repair on their own, but larger VSDs, like Devontae’s, can require surgical intervention. 

At one week old, Devontae started showing signs of distress, so his family took him to the IWK’s emergency department. He was sent home on medication and over the next few months he made weekly visits to the IWK’s Children’s Heart Centre. His parents also monitored his weight daily at home.

He continues to be monitored by his care team at the IWK in case the day should arrive that he requires surgery to fix the hole in his heart. And, if it does, his family knows he will be in the very best hands.
“The IWK team is so supportive and helpful," says Traelene Beals, Devontae’s mom. “They’ve made Devontae’s heart journey easier. I’m so glad we have access to the IWK as we wouldn’t want to take our baby boy anywhere else.”

Today, Devontae is a very happy little boy experiencing all the typical first-year baby milestones and putting smiles on the faces of everyone he meets. 

Watch Devontae's 2021 Telethon Story


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