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High-tech Options Offered at ACH Helped Family Avoid Open-Heart Surgery with Newborn
Submitted by Julie Gaither, mother of patient Tristan
Hensley, AR

My son was born six weeks early and was originally med-flighted to another hospital.  A few hours later they moved him to ACH when they found out that it was his heart, not his lungs, causing him to be blue. ACH ran tests and found out he was born with pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular valve. They decided to try a procedure on him involving a balloon. I didn't know at the time, but my understanding is that he was the first one of his age to have this procedure done. Dr. Fontenot went up through the groin into his heart with a balloon and then pierced the valve to open it up. 

This procedure has allowed my son to not have open heart surgery at this time to replace the valve. Our hope is that with all the advancements with technology that he will not have to have open heart surgery to replace the valve. Dr. Fontenot is a great surgeon and doctor. We can't wait until it is time for his check-up to see how things are going. 

Thank you, ACH and Dr. Fontenot, for saving my baby! He is a very active 7-year- old, and you would not even know he had a heart issue if we didn't mention it.