Andrew is 5 and a half months old and has fought his whole life against a severe heart defect called Hypoplastic left Heart Syndrome. This is where he was born with only half of a heart. The left side of his heart did not grow while he was in the womb. Andrew was born and immediately taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where he underwent a very serious major open heart surgery at only 3 days old.
Since birth we have had 2 life flights, and three ground transports to Children's and my husband and I drove him here once for another emergency where he was hospitalized each time. In total (If I can remember them all) He's been hospitalized for:
*Birth and Norwood surgery and recovery (29 day stay) (CICU stay)
*Feeding intolerance and vomiting fixed wing flight (16 hours after we got discharged the first stay)
*Emergency heart Cath for Aortic Arch balloon repair from narrowing (CICU stay)
*Rhino virus (CICU stay)
*Feeding intolerance (vomiting)
*Emergency cath for Shunt stint and narrowing (CICU stay)
*Glenn open heart surgery and another cath procedure after surgery (CICU stay)
*Life flight for severe illness which landed us here for transplant stay (CICU to present)
*G-tube surgery June 2015
He has spent almost a full 4 months of his 5 and a half months of life in the hospital.
Andrews sweet and smiley personality has landed him the nickname "floor flirt" and "little charmer" because he just looks at his nurses and doctors and cuts those sweet little eyes and smiles at them almost every single time he sees them. He hardly ever cries and jut melts most people's hearts as soon as they meet him. There's just something very special about him.
We came into this heart defect with transplant in the back of our minds for way down the road (16 yrs old plus) and never imagined it would be so soon, and us almost losing him. So here is our journey. Here is my son's life, his ups and downs, and his day to day struggles with every single beat. This is our heart story...
How he got the nickname "ironman"
Andrew's very first ultrasound looked like he was wearing ironman's mask because of the way the shadows fell across his face. We always joked from the very beginning that he was going to be ironman. Later, we found out that he was going to be born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Now he was really going to be our "Little Iron Man". He too had a heart problem like the famous superhero.