Program helps families predict, prepare for newborns in need of - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Program helps families predict, prepare for newborns in need of surgery

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Aliyah Martinez Aliyah Martinez
Aliyah's first open heart surgery at 1-week-old was a success, as was another at 4 months old. She has one more to face when she's 2 years old. Aliyah's first open heart surgery at 1-week-old was a success, as was another at 4 months old. She has one more to face when she's 2 years old.
Tori Martinez and Aliyah Tori Martinez and Aliyah
A program at Kosair Children's Hospital which gives experts the ability to read the images sent to them from facilities all over Kentucky. A program at Kosair Children's Hospital which gives experts the ability to read the images sent to them from facilities all over Kentucky.
Dr. Lucinda Wright Dr. Lucinda Wright

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Being pregnant is a time filled with excitement and also some worry. Everyone wishes for a newborn who is healthy, but that's not always the case.

At just 7 months old Aliyah Martinez, has had to go through a lot and she has the scar on her chest to prove it. Aliyah was still in her mother's belly when a fetal echocardiogram test, an ultrasound of the heart, showed she would need immediate surgery to survive.

"This was a child born with a single pumping chamber. Very complex," said Dr. Lucinda Wright, with Kosair Children's Hospital.

Tori Martinez's picture of bringing home a healthy child was shattered.

"I had so much going through my head," said Tori Martinez.

Fetal Echocardiogram's aren't new, but what is is a newer program at Kosair Children's Hospital which gives experts the ability to read the images sent to them from facilities all over Kentucky.

Some hospitals in more rural areas might not have the ability to treat newborns born with a congenital heart defect, which is one of the most common birth defects.

"You know it is a common birth defect it also could potentially be a life threatening defect and we have the tools to help these babies survive if we know about their heart disease," said Dr. Wright.

Parents appreciate the time to prepare that the planned procedure can give them.

"It helped a lot to know that you know my babies going to be in the hospital for awhile and I got prepared for my other children," Martinez said.

Aliyah's first open heart surgery at 1-week-old was a success, as was another at 4 months old. She has one more to face when she's 2 years old.

A support group called Brave Hearts has been set up for families and children born heart defects. To learn more about the Brave Hearts, click here.

Kosair Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital Foundation have also teamed up with the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame to host a golf outing and fundraiser to benefit the Congenital Heart Center. To learn more about the event, click here.

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