Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support, prayers, and words of hope and encouragement during this time.
Derek was born with Aortic Stenosis. What this means is that his aortic valve was not properly formed at birth. We found this out the second day of his life and quickly learned that open heart surgery would be a necessity some-day. We were initially told that "some-day" would likely be in early elementary school. We are so blessed that he has made it to the age of 13 before this has become necessary.
Because Derek's heart valve doesn't open properly it has created a couple problems. First, is that the blood goes out of his heart at too high a pressure and sprays against the wall of his aorta, expanding his aorta and potentially thinning the wall of his aorta. His aorta now is 2.5x the size it should be. Second, is that because his aortic valve does not operate properly his heart muscle has to work harder to get the blood through the valve. This also has potential long term problems if not addressed.
Derek's surgery on July 1 will address both of these problems by replacing his aortic valve using the Ross Procedure and replacing a section of his aorta with a synthetic material. It will be an eight hour surgery at Denver Children's Medical Center, with a week of recovery.
Please be praying for Derek, the surgeon Dr. Jagger's, and Derek's family during this time.
Check back often for updates of his surgery and recovery.