Reeve was born on April 20, 2016. He is a happy little boy who enjoys smiling while having conversations with people along with eating and snuggling.
On Thursday, June 30th, Reeve went in for his 2 month check up. His pediatrician, Dr. Babe, who also delivered him, noticed that his lips seemed to be a bit purple looking but said overall he was a very healthy baby. Dr. Babe decided to pursue checking his oxygen levels just to make sure that it was within the normal range. Once hooked up to the monitor, his levels were reading around 50%; well below normal levels of 95%. The medical staff decided to try a couple different machines due to his readings being so low and knowing they didn't necessarily have the best equipment for babies. After trying several other machines, they decided to hook Reeve up to some oxygen and re-test his levels. They elevated up into the 60% range, but that was still far below normal.
Dr. Babe was concerned enough to call up to Children's Medical Center in Omaha to speak with one of the heart doctors. He suggested a chest x-ray and then recommended for Reeve to head directly to Omaha to see Dr. Winter, a pediatric cardiologist. Once he reached Omaha, he had an echocardiogram performed, a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart.
After reviewing Reeve's test and x-ray, Dr. Winter determined that he has Pulmonary Atresia with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). This website gives a good overview of what PA-VSD is: http://www.pccoforegon.com/blog/an-overview-of-pa-vsd.
The shortened version is that Reeve's pulmonary artery never fully developed. His blood gets to the lungs from the aorta via a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) or multiple aortopulmonary collateral arteries. He also has a hole between his right and left ventricle when they should be separated.
This diagnosis was a shock to everyone as Reeve seems like such a happy and normal little boy. Usually babies with PA-VSD tend to have poor feeding habits and growth (those of you who have seen him know that he is not lacking in the weight department). They also tend to be lethargic, and appear blue - none of which were really noticed in Reeve. PA-VSD is also usually noticed very early in life--a few days after birth or even as early as ultrasounds. Reeve is 10 weeks old.
They admitted Reeve into the hospital and performed a cardiac catheterization. This would give a better look on how to treat his heart. Reeve did have to be put under general anesthesia for this. He handled it very well and mom and dad were able to visit and snuggle with him afterwards. It was during the catheterization that Dr. Curzon, a pediatric cardiologist, noticed that Reeve has MAPCAS (Major aortopulmonary collateral arteries). MAPCAS are arteries that develop to supply blood to the lungs when native pulmonary circulation is underdeveloped. They are usually several in number. The aim of treatment of the MAPCAs is to group them together and convert their supply to deoxygenated blood from the right side of the heart.
Reeve's team had a lot of different information and options to consider as they determined their plan of action for surgery.