When John was six days old, he had one of the most complicated heart surgeries performed on him to correct his right ventricle, hopefully making it work as efficiently as possible. John’s aorta was only 1.5mm in diameter and the surgery needed to make extensive repairs to the area, opening the aorta up more.
The surgery was a miraculous success, but there were many other complications that had to do with fluids building up in the plural cavity around the lungs. This was happening due to the lymphatic system not absorbing the fats in John’s diet, which posed as a huge setback in his recovery. John’s recovery depended on some type of fat-free nutrition that would heal his digestive system. John’s mother, Gina, ended up pumping breast milk each day and placing the milk in syringes and storing them in the refrigerator upside down for 24 hours to help separate the fat from the milk. De-fatting breast milk is incredibly time-consuming but was the only thing that would help John as he developed.
The Children’s Miracle Network and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital supplied Gina and her husband with a Centrifuge and Creamatocrit machine from the hospital to help make sure John was getting the best non-fat food as possible.
John is almost nine months old now and has had two open-heart surgeries and his nutrition has been greatly compromised for much of his life…yet he is growing and developing like a normal child his age. Doctors will continue to monitor John as he develops.