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- The following was written by Alex's Uncle Scot. - Alex was born with a congenital heart disorder and went through a series of reconstructive operations before he was four to restructure his heart in a novel procedure first developed at Philadelphia Children's Hospital. The surgeries were performed at Boston Children's Hospital (currently ranked as the #1 Children's hospital by... US News & World Report). - Alex has been a fun and slightly mischievous and sometimes rambunctious young man, but he was and is always caring and loving to those around him. - As he entered adulthood he was very aware the time had come for the follow-up procedure that he would need to determine just where his heart stood and what would be needed to move forward. He took ownership of meeting with cardiologists and surgeons in Birmingham and determined he needed people who were better aware of the procedure he went through as a toddler. Ultimately he returned to his original doctor who is now Chief of Surgery at Boston Children's and who remembered Alex's case and welcomed him to return to Boston for the follow-up procedure. Alex did an excellent job asking all the difficult questions and choosing to continue with the procedure. - The surgery went as planned and his recovery was moving well. - As he was being moved to a step down unit from the CICU he suddenly collapsed and was immediately attended to by the fine staff at Boston Children's. Emergency surgery was performed in the ICU where it was determined that a chamber wall in his heart had ruptured and he was experiencing massive internal bleeding. The quick response saved his life. I think had he been anywhere else we would not be blessed to have him here today. He was placed into a medically induced coma for the next several days for acute observation and recovery. Yesterday, the process began of bringing him out of sedation for cognitive assessment. Unfortunately, on first attempt, my wonderful and strong nephew did not respond to any stimulus except for involuntary reflex responses. First thought is that blood clots may have entered into the brain and have cause some neurological trauma. A neurologist is assessing him and will confer with my brother and sister-in-law today. - Much appreciation to Alex's Uncle Scot for writing the previous sections: Due to many precautions such as reducing the body temperature to 93-94* they were able to prevent the development of blood clots following the trauma. The brain did sustain numerous strokes caused by a lack of blood/oxygen during the trauma event. The strokes have caused permanent damage to his vision, however it will be a while before we will know to what extent. While stroke damaged areas can not be repaired the brain does find ways of redirecting information and relearning lost skills. This is now the phase that we are entering. - Post trauma accomplishments on separate days. a). Opening his eye lids b). Communicating by blinking his eyes. c). Cognitive response with feet. d). Tracking with head movement e). Tracking with eye movement Everyday his cognitive responses slowly step forward. It will be a while before we know the full impact. - There is still a lot of healing to continue and there is still a lot of setback risk