Colton Whitney Shaw was born on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 5:32pm - he weighed in at 9lbs,4oz and 21" long. At a routine 18 week ultrasound (December 19, 2016) and subsequent echocardiograms, it was discovered that Colton had a complex Congenital Heart Defect (CHD), which essentially means that he had multiple heart defects that do not allow his heart to pump as efficiently or effectively as a "normal" heart. His official diagnosis (received on December 27, 2016) is L-Transposition of the Great Arteries with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and Pulmonary Atresia.
This essentially means that the ventricles ("Great Arteries") of his heart are reversed with the Left pumping blood to the lungs and the Right pumping blood to the body (the right ventricle is typically smaller and not as strong). The VSD (hole) between his two ventricles means that his heart is, effectively, a single ventricle heart without two separate and distinct lower chambers. Lastly and most important for survival, his pulmonary artery is missing its connection point to the heart (aka "pulmonary atresia"). On May 15, at just five days old, Colton had open heart surgery at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte which involved insertion of a BT Shunt and a patch on his pulmonary artery. He then received a second surgery on October 11 (at five months old) known as the bidirectional Glenn, which serves to re-route the blood traveling from his heart to his lungs and allows his body to operate with only one of its ventricles (most hearts operate with two ventricles). He is likely to require at one more surgery in the near term, at some time between ages 3 and 4 years. He may also require a pacemaker and ultimately, a heart transplant later in life, but both of those procedures remain to be seen (and are not expected to be the immediate focus for his family or his cardiologists).
Thank you for visiting our page and for supporting the Shaw family through this journey. Feel free to also follow Colton on Instagram - @shawsshowheart
*For those looking for ways to help, please note that we ask that no one donate to us financially, although we greatly appreciate the gesture. If you would like to support our family, we ask that you do so through a donation in Colton's name to the HEARTest Yard Foundation, which regularly supports research and care of complex CHD patients, like Colton, at Levine Children's Hospital (link: https://receptionsforresearch.org/the-heartest-yard/