Early detection. Tina Morton’s routine 20-week ultrasound revealed something more serious than her daughter’s gender: Baby Addison had a serious heart defect that required immediate treatment, the Miami Herald reported.
The Mortons found a team of doctors at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., to develop a post-birth treatment plan using echocardiography and other hi-tech diagnostic tools. Dr. Kak-Chen Chan, chief of pediatric cardiology at DiMaggio’s Heart Institute, told the Miami Herald that heart defects can be identified as early as 12 weeks, when the baby’s heart is smaller than a nickel.
Addison received open heart surgery for a malfunctioning left ventricle 10 days after her birth. Though she may need another procedure, Addison is now a healthy 5-month old baby.
Addison’s story isn’t uncommon thanks to medical advances, Dr. John Rhodes Jr., director of cardiology at Miami Children’s Hospital, told the Miami Herald. Babies born with heart diseases can now receive less invasive treatment, therapy, and preventative care.