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Gavin’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

On March 13, 2013 I gave birth to Gavin Christopher Canning at 8:02am via c-section. He weighed 7lbs 10oz and 20.5 in long. He has an older brother named Jordan and an older sister named Brianna. He is our miracle baby.

Here is our story about how it all began:

On March 13, 2013 I went to Valley Care Hospital for a routine c-section. At 8:02 am I gave birth to Gavin Christopher Canning. He weighed 7lbs 10oz and 20.5 in long. We were so excited to finally meet the Lil guy. I got to hold him in the recovery room once he was all checked out. I held him for hours until I was finally moved into my own room. I breast fed him right after the delivery and around noon it was time to feed again. I tried and tried to get him to latch on but he wouldn't. I noticed that he was breathing funny and his was choking on his saliva. I asked the nurse to come and check him out. I thought maybe I was just being paranoid but turns out I wasn't. The nurse said there could be fluid in the lungs and showed me how to suction his mouth. Then she decided to listen to his chest. She said I will be right back and went to get the pediatrician. Now during this time my two other kids were in the room. The pediatrician listened to Gavin's chest and said they needed to take him to the nursery to be checked out and asked Mike to go with them. An hour went by and then Mike came back crying. He said something was wrong with Gavin's heart. He wasn't getting enough oxygen in his body. They were going to transfer him to UCSF. We were shocked. They wouldn't allow me to go because I just had surgery but Mike followed them.

At UCSF they ran a bunch of test and decided he needed surgery right away. Mike had to make the decision without me and even though he was nervous doing so, it needed to happen or Gavin wouldn't make it through the night. He had a cardiac cauterization to determine the severity of his condition.

On Saturday March 16th, I was released from Valley Care and headed up to UCSF with Mike to see Gavin for the first time since he was transferred. I was excited but nervous at the same time because I had no idea what to expect. Mike has been keeping my informed with his condition but you never really know how bad things are until you see it with your own eyes.

After seeing Gavin lying there all helpless and connected to all these tubes and machines I completely lost it. I couldn't believe that happy Lil boy I held hours after delivery was the same little boy lying there. The Cardiologist came in the room and said we needed to talk. I was nervous as to what she was about to tell us.

She said Gavin has HLHS, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Here is a link that will best explain his condition,

His full diagnosis is HLHS, Aortic Stenosis, Mitral Stenosis and Endocardial Fibroelastosis. He is currently taking 1/4 Asprin, Lasik, Captopril and Vitamin D.

He would need a series of surgeries and then a heart transplant later on in life. Mike and I were completely shocked. We knew it was serious but had no clue it was that serious. They said he would need the first of 3 surgeries right away. So on 3/18/13 Gavin had the Norwood operation. He did really well with the surgery and was able to be released on 4/5/13. He went home with an NG tube for feeding. And he is on 4 different medications. Somewhere between 3-6 months he will have the Glenn operation and then somewhere between 3-5 yrs he will have the Fontan operation. He will see a cardiologist every couple a weeks to watch him closely and see how he does before the next surgery. He still needs to gain some more weight. It has been a long couple of months. But Gavin is a fighter. He is truly a blessing. He has taught us to appreciate each other more because we don't know how long we will have with each other.

I will try to update you as often as we can.

Latest Journal Update

He's not a baby anymore

Gavin is 19 months old and not a baby anymore. He has been keeping us on out toes. He is into everything. He is a dare devil. He knows what he wants and wants it when he wants it. He was trying to climb out of his crib so we had to go buy him a big boy bed. We went with Lightening McQueen theme. He loves it. We also took him to get a big boy hair cut. He looks so cute but I miss my little baby.

Heart wise Gavin is doing good. Our biggest struggle right now is weight. Gavin is between 18 and 19 lbs. it goes up and down on a weekly basis. He pukes a lot so we have an appointment with a GI doctor at LPCH. They are pushing for gtube but we have questions before we agree. Also Gavin has 9 cavities. It's crazy because Jordan and Bri have great teeth. The dentist feels the nighttime pediasure plus his medications is the cause. Gavin how has to have these fixed at LPCH under the watch of his cardiologist. This is the only reason we are considering the gtube. It's hard to see Gavin struggle with eating when it's something no natural to everyone but he isn't interested in food most days. I will update more after our next few appointments.