Pittsburgh Congenital Heart Walk

Team Ashlynd

Ashlynd’s CHD story

Mommy’s pregnancy and delivery with me was generally smooth and healthy. It wasn’t until I was one day old, that we learned I had a special heart. The hospital pediatrician was doing his general exam on me and heard heard a heart murmur. He told my mommy that it was common in newborns, but he was going to consult the cardiology team. They did an Echo on my heart and found That I had a moderate sized perimembranous VSD, mitral valve stenosis and subaortic membrane. Since I was showing no symptoms on exam, they told my mommy and daddy to follow up in the office.
At my fist pediatrician visit, at a couple of days old, I appeared to still be doing well. It was at my 2 week follow up appointment that they noticed my weight had dropped and my respiratory rate was in the 80’s. I was sent directly to get a chest x ray and a cardiology appointment was scheduled for that week. Dr Miller (my amazing cardiologist at CHP) told us that my heart was struggling and I needed medicine to help prevent fluid from backing up into my lungs. I started taking multiple medicine syringes a day, Lasix and Aldactone.
We continued seeing the cardiologist every other month for echos and the pediatrician weekly for weight checks. Each cardiology appointment that we dodged meeting with the surgeons about open heart surgery and each pediatrician appointment that we avoided a feeding tube, was a success. Mommy and Daddy and so many loved ones prayed for my heart, as I continued growing like a normal healthy baby into a toddler.
At my appointment around one year old, my amazing resident (Dr. Beach) came into the exam room with tears in her eyes. She shared with us that my heart was enlarged and failing and we would need to consult surgery to make plans for open heart surgery. She started enalapril and scheduled for us to come back for another echo in a couple of weeks. When we returned for our appointment, Dr Beach entered the room with the biggest smile! She told us that my heart miraculously looked more “normal”. She said we didn’t need to more forward with surgery at this time, and we would continue to monitor me on the 3 medicines. Taking 8 medicine syringes a day, I carried on, growing stronger and healthier!
At my appointment at nearly 3 years old, we began the medicine ween. I stopped taking the diuretics and my heart handled it well! I am currently on one medicine and still going strong without surgery!
I continue with my cardiology appointments and pray that my heart keeps growing bigger and stronger.
Mommy and Daddy tell me I have a special heart.

Our team is raising critical funds for congenital heart defects! Congenital heart defects are the most commonly occurring birth defect, affecting approximately 1 in 110 babies born, or a child born every 15 minutes. Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of birth-defect related mortality.

Funded research is making a very big difference in the lives of CHD patients, helping to reduce incidences and increase survival, longevity and quality of life. Research has made a very big impact, and with survival and longevity increasing, even more research is needed to help address lifelong challenges that CHD patients will face. Every dollar in support of The Children’s Heart Foundation helps to further their mission: to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects.

Please support our team, join us for the Congenital Heart Walk, or both!

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