Celebrate Two Billion Hearts with CaringBridge

Your gift to CaringBridge means that not only can we celebrate TWO BILLION visits to our site, but you also ensure the gift of two billion more. Donate to CaringBridge today.

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

Lots of changes

It's been a while since I last updated. We have been so busy. We recently moved from Livermore, CA to Petaluma, CA in July. Mike is now stationed in Bodega Bay. He is gone a lot more so it keeps me busy with the kids and their activities and Gavin's different appointments. We are adjusting to Petaluma. It's quite a change for us. We live out in the middle of nowhere. We are about 20 mins from everything in town so I now plan my shopping trips for when I know I have to take one of the kids to their activities. The kids like their school and have made lots of wonderful friends. I do miss Livermore and all our friends and family. We have been going back about once a month. Thank goodness it's a short drive unless you hit the Bay Area traffic.

Gavin is 2 1/2 and will be 3 in March. He is doing pretty well heart wise. We have been hit with nasty illnesses all winter which has hindered his weight gain. We recently dealt with a stomach bug. Gavin got really sick and went from 25 lbs to 23 lbs 8oz. Not a good thing when you are doing everything you can to get weight on him and then he gets sick. He will have his 3rd Heart Surgery this year once he hits 33 lbs. He is stable heart wise so we have a little time to try and get his weight up but catching something every other week isn't helping. He is working with OT and Speech Therapy. He was tested and is where he needs to be for his age in every area but speech. He really struggles with forming letters and sounds. We think its from 17 months of being NG fed. He is pretty good with learning sign language. He picks it up really quickly so that helps when he can't verbalize what he needs or wants. We need to start thinking about preschool. We are just not sure if we should wait until after surgery to enroll him. He is already catching everything as it is so I don't want to make things worse. I have lots of paperwork to fill out for his IEP and 504. I want to make sure I have everything lined but before he starts.

Gavin is your typical 2 year old. He loves sports, especially Hockey and Basketball. He is a daddy boy who loves anything outdoors but does still get tired easy so we have to pick things that are not to hard on him. We have decided to have his birthday party at Chucky Cheese because its low key as far as activity level vs. a bounce house and he loves the commercials. I am not a fan of the place but its not for me. Its for him. Anything to make him happy and see his smile.

We are planning on doing a Heart Walk this year and also attending Heart Camp. I hope you guys can join us for the Heart Walk. It will be in SF. I will update you when I know more.