Lucy: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

“Our pediatrician told us Lucy needed to be in the very best place anywhere for treating heart problems — and this is it.”

– Kirsten, Mother

Lucy, a cardiac patient

When baby Lucy went for her two-week checkup, her pediatrician detected an unusual sound when he listened to her heart (a heart murmur) and told them to get to Nemours Cardiac Center immediately. During her echocardiogram her parents thought one side of her heart looked bigger than the other.

Within days she underwent the first of the three-stage Norwood procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition in which the structures of the left side of the heart (the left ventricle, the mitral valve and the aortic valve) are underdeveloped and unable to pump blood adequately to the entire body. She underwent the second stage at 7 months, and the final stage at 13 months. She has sailed through catheterizations to place and enlarge stents as she has grown.

Now an active, healthy 12-year-old, Lucy takes horseback riding lessons and plays volleyball, is a voracious reader, and an honor roll student. “We loved the way the Cardiac Center is designed to allow us all to be together throughout her stay. Even now when we go back to visit it feels like family,” Kirsten says.