Sammy Jones of Huber Heights, Ohio, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means his left half of the heart did not work.
Despite the fact that he had three surgeries in the last four years to correct the problem, difficulties emerged last year. As a result, he was put on the waiting list for a heart transplant in December.
The youngster underwent a 14-hour life-saving heart transplant operation at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on April 4, about three weeks before his fourth birthday, which was a success.
Jones and his partner Kortney Sink found out about Sammy’s ailment while Sink was four months pregnant, according to Jones. During the ultrasound to determine the baby’s gender, physicians discovered that Sammy had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, according to Jones.
The prognosis for Sammy
“It went from excitement to sitting down with a doctor asking us if we thought about abortion,” Jones said, adding he and Sink were against terminating the pregnancy.
“It was all kind of doom and gloom,” Jones added.
Sink flew to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital a few days later to speak with cardiologists for a second opinion.
“They had a very different perspective on things,” Jones explained.
Jones said the specialists at Cincinnati Children’s were optimistic about the success of a series of procedures that would allow Sammy to live with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Jones and Sink said they were startled by the disparity in reactions and were encouraged by the positive feedback.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is commonly treated with a series of three surgeries termed the Norwood, Glenn, and Fontan procedures, which assist the heart function while bypassing the left side, according to Dr. David Morales, head of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Heart Institute.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1,025 newborns born in the United States have hypoplastic left heart syndrome (CDC).
Sammy’s situation is even more rare, according to Morales, because his aortic and mitral valves were both “severely leaking” in addition to hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
‘He’s fighting for his life,’ says the narrator.
Sammy was born on April 23, 2018 at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The infant underwent a 12-hour open heart surgery right away and spent the first seven or eight months of his life in the hospital, according to Jones.
Sammy got his second operation in July 2020, and his third procedure in February 2021.
“The prognosis at that time was that he would be fine,” Jones said.
Sammy got his wish in a matter of weeks.
Jones said they received the call on April 3 and Sammy underwent the 14-hour heart transplant surgery the next day.
The procedure went well, but after a week, one of Sammy’s lungs collapsed, forcing him to stay in the hospital for another three weeks.
On Thursday, Sammy was finally released from the intensive care unit, and he is likely to be discharged from the hospital early next week.