2022 St. Louis Congenital Heart Walk

Sawyer Strong

A few shorts days after welcoming our sweet twin boys into the world, we were given some very difficult news that quickly sent our world on a downward spiral. During a time that is supposed to be fun and exciting, from just starting a family, we were thrown into a situation no parent wants to image, a baby with a heart defect. Sawyer was diagnosed with a large ventricular septal defect (VSD) at only 3 days old and this was a huge shock, considering none of this was seen on all of the prenatal ultrasounds, and there were lots given the fact that he was a mono-di twin. He has his first cardiology appointment at 1 week old, where they confirmed he had a very large VSD. This was so much to wrap our heads around, we had no idea what to do with all the information we had thrown at us. We were trying to juggle new parenthood to twins on top of trying to comprehend that one of our little babies had a heart defect, but we had to take it one day at a time. At one of our next follow up appointments, they discussed the symptoms we should watch for which would indicate heart failure and at that time we would have to start the medications and plans for surgery to close the VSD, buying us time for Sawyer to grow and get through cold/flu/RSV season. During a following appointment, it was found this time that Sawyer had pretty significant pulmonary stenosis (PS). This alone could be an issue, but for Sawyer it was a blessing. The cardiologist explained that his PS was actually balancing out his VSD and therefore he would probably not develop the heart failure symptoms and we could allow him to continue to grow and plan surgery at a safer time of year. Thankfully, this is exactly what happened. Sawyer never developed any issues and surgery was planned for Spring of 2019 when he was a healthy weight. The dreaded surgery day came, but thanks to the wonderful Cardiology team and Cardiothoracic surgeons, the surgery went extremely well. Sawyer was home and back to himself only 6 days after his open heart surgery to close his VSD and to repair his pulmonary stenosis. Fast forward to today and Sawyer recently had his yearly Cardiology appointment where we received the words we always wanted to hear, "Sawyer's heart looks completely normal. You would never know he had these heart defects!" It is an absolute blessing to know Sawyer now gets to grow up along side his twin brother without worrying that his heart is going to restrict him. 


Lindsey-Sawyer's Mom

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