Heart Heroes: Parker Bolton and HLHS
During a routine ultrasound I had in the 20th week of my pregnancy, I learned that my soon-to-be-born son, Parker, would be born with a complex congenital heart defect (CHD) called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).
Because of the severity of Parker’s condition, our doctors recommended an induced birth in Boston so he could be immediately rushed to Children’s Hospital Boston’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU).
Parker’s first 24 hours of life were so unstable that doctors weren’t sure he’d make it. His condition was so severe that even as his parents we weren’t allowed to see him in the cardiac ICU until they could stabilize him with an emergency catheterization.
Parker had to undergo his first heart intervention at just a few hours old. Then, at only 7 days old, he underwent his first open heart surgery. His chest remained open after the surgery because his heart was so swollen; finally it was closed on Christmas Day. We spent that Christmas hoping for the best, but he was not adjusting well to the change.