Cutting edge heart surgery saves baby's life - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cutting edge heart surgery saves baby's life

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by Danielle Wagner

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- A six-week-old baby boy from Independence is Iowa's first hybrid heart surgery patient... meaning doctors performed a combination of different surgeries.

Ayden Gendreau was born October 2nd in Cedar Rapids. Within 12 hours, doctors realized something was wrong. Ayden was transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City for major surgery.

Since the day Ayden was born neither he nor his mom had left the hospital. About 39 days ago, Ayden's parents, Ryan and Patsy, were told he had problems with his heart.

"Being told your child has a congenital heart issue is very tough to hear. There's a degree of shock and a degree of not knowing what doctors can and can't do," said Ryan Gendreau.

"It was very scary because it's like what are they gonna do to fix it. Whenever you hear the word heart you're first reaction is he's so small," said Patsy Gendreau.

Besides scary, Ayden's condition was very serious.

"Would Ayden probably not be alive if he didn't have this? He would be either sick or not alive," said Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon Dr. James Davis.

Ayden was actually born with a combination of heart defects.

"What we call transposition of the great arteries where the main blood vessels coming off of the heart come off the wrong pumping chamber," said Dr. Davis.

On October 22 Ayden had surgery in Iowa City to fix that defect and a hole in his heart. the hole... about six millimeters or the size of a small pearl... was between the two pumping chambers of his heart.

Typically, the hole can be closed with a patch, but in Ayden's case, the hole wasn't easy to reach, so doctors essentially "plugged" the hole.

About three weeks after surgery Ayden is doing great, and his chest is healing well. His parents are glad it's over, and they can go home and be a family.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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