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Miracle: Unbalanced Atrioventricular Canal Defect
“The doctors at Nemours not only have incredible skill — they have a personal touch that matters so much. To them, Miracle was not a number, a bed on the nursing unit or an insurance card. They’ve made us feel that our situation is important to them and we are always welcomed with open arms.”
— Yolanda, Miracle’s mother
Miracle came into the world a month early with a serious heart problem which included an incomplete atrioventricular canal defect (an opening between the chamber of her heart) and aortic stenosis (a narrowing of the area where blood leaves the heart). Little did her mother know that the name she had chosen for her daughter would come to symbolize her early struggles.
When she was small, Miracle's family lived in New York where she received care. As a toddler, Miracle tired easily. Her heart had only three chambers instead of the usual four and had trouble pumping blood past the narrowed area, out to her body. Miracle underwent reconstructive open heart surgery and later a pacemaker was implanted to help her heart beat in a normal rhythm.
Although Miracle’s heart function improved, she struggled to gain weight and was not growing well. When she was 7, her family moved to Delaware and found the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Nemours Cardiac Center. Miracle’s mother immediately became comfortable with everyone on the cardiac team. She appreciated their way of treating the family as a whole — not just the child. Through Miracle’s numerous tests and exams, her mother always felt informed and that her questions were answered.
Miracle had two surgeries at Nemours Cardiac Center, one to replace a faulty valve and the other to attach new pacemaker leads to replace the ones she had outgrown. More recently, Miracle had yet another procedure to open valves in her heart that had narrowed. She had a cardiac catheterization to place a stent and went home the next day. Her heart is now operating at 80 percent effectiveness and currently she is not taking any medications.
Today at age 11, Miracle is doing well in school, on the cheerleading squad and thinking about becoming a doctor herself someday. “Being a mom, I am constantly praying for the best for her. We couldn’t have come to a better place for Miracle,” says Yolanda, her mother. “The doctors at Nemours not only have incredible skill — they have a personal touch that matters so much. To them, Miracle was not a number, a bed on the nursing unit or an insurance card. They’ve made us feel that our situation is important to them and we are always welcomed with open arms.”