Charlotte was diagnosed with a complete atrioventricular canal defect (AV canal for short) at 5 days old. We spent the first four months of her life worrying about heart failure, managing meds and doctors appointments, and preparing for open heart surgery.
On October 13th, 2010 Charlotte underwent open heart surgery at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. One of the hardest things I have done in my life was hand my baby over to have her heart repaired. The days leading up to that surgery were some of the most intensely emotional of our lives.
Thankfully, Charlotte's surgery was deemed "successful." She spent a mere five days in the hospital recovering, and came home as spunky as ever. She has slight leakage of the mitral valve which may require surgery in the distant future (as a teen or young adult), though this is not uncommon.
If you have stumbled upon this page because your little one will soon have open heart surgery, please make sure to check out my blog entries from October of 2010. Some of the best advice I can give any parent is to read, read, read. Read blogs, speak with parents who have been there done that, and ask lots of questions. Hang in there.