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Aug 27, 2018
Logan Michael Vallee was born on July 9, 2000. On the second day of his life, while feeding Logan turned blue. He was immediatley flown to Lutheran Generl and then to Children's Hope Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois he underwent an emergent cardiac catherization. The results were devasting. Logan was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is sometimes referred to as half a heart.The left side of the heart simply does not develop.We were given three options: first was to let him go, second was to place him on a heart transplant list with a very small chance of receiving a heart in time due to his size and rare blood type and third was to do a series of three surgeries which would reroute the venous blood away from the heart so it flowed directly to the lungs.Logan’s first surgery was the Norwood. During this procedure the surgeons created an atrial septal defect and merged the pulmonary artery and aorta in to one outflow tract.This allowed the right ventricle to carry the workload of the heart. Because of the communication between the left and right side of the heart Logan would be maintaining on mixed venous blood,which carried its own set of side effects including respiratory distress, ischemia, increased workload on the heart, stunted growth and a host of others.Logan suffered complications from the surgery including renal failure and a stroke. He slowly gained ground and made it home with a pH nasal tube, a long list of medications, and respiratory supplies. Two months later Logan started to deteriorate. The second surgery, the Glenn, was not supposed to be done until Logan was six to eight months of age. The surgeons felt the best chance of survival was to undergo surgery and complete the Glenn. Logan was the youngest patient to undergo this surgery. This surgery rerouted blood coming back through the superior vena cava directly to the lungs. Again Logan’s recovery was slow. Logan would have to be on coumadin the rest of his life. More medications were added to his daily regimen. Eventually Logan was released home with the aid of home health nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Logan underwent his third surgery, the Fontan on May 16, 2002. He was just starting to walk and gain confidence in his physical abilities at the time of the surgery. The Fontan surgery rerouted blood coming through the inferior vena cava directly to the lungs. At this point all venous blood passively flows to the lungs bypassing the heart completely. Logan sailed through this surgery with flying colors, not to say the recovery was easy. Holding a 22 month old to a strict diet, fluid restriction, and multiple dosing regimens was a struggle for the physicians and Logan’s family. Shortly after the Fontan, the Vallee family again received bad news.Logan had developed pulmonary and aortic valve regurgitation. On top of this a significant 3.5 cm aneurysm had developed in the neo-aorta (the aorta created during the first surgery). Over the next year Logan had repeated echocardiograms to monitor the heart’s function, the valves and the aneurysm. His function gradually started to decline. Logan frequently suffered syncope and hypoxic episodes. The aneurysm was growing in size. He intermittently required being on an event and holter monitors. Logan’s heart rate was dropping in to the 40’s at night. He had runs of atrial fibrillation. The physicians attempted to manage Logan medically due to the high risk associated with a permanent pacemaker. Eventually the physicians had no choice but to invasively assess the situation. Logan underwent yet another cardiac catherization. The aneurysm had grown to 4.8cm and was compressing the left pulmonary artery intermittently causing it to collapse. Diffuse clots littered the pulmonary vascultare. The clots needed to be removed or dissolved but the aneurysm complicated the situation.Logan was taken back to the intensive care unit. A week later he was taken back to the cath lab to remove the blood clots and place a stent in the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery stent was placed without any complications. Surgery for the aneurysm would follow one month later.Logan underwent his fourth surgery on April 5, 2005. During this surgery, the neo-aorta was replaced. This surgery had only been done 8 times in the world, with only three children surviving. Logan again sailed through surgery! He had surgery on Monday and was discharged on Friday!! Logan then had to have a pacemaker months later. Logan's medical journey continues, he was dynosed with disautomonia, and a leaky neoaortic valve. In Sept. of 08' Logan had another open heart. He underwent a neoaortic valvuloplasty and neoaortic root repair. During that surgery they also did a revision of his pace pacemaker.Logan has undergone open heart surgeries, cardiac catheterizations, a slew of medical tests, has suffered many embolic strokes and been admitted to the hospital an average of five times a year and is on oxygen. In his short life he has seen more doctors, nurses, and needles then anyone should see in an adult lifetime.Through it all Logan has maintained the feistiest attitude, the sweetest smile, and has developed a personality second to none.