A newborn baby that came into the world with a rare congenital heart condition got an early and miraculous Valentine’s Day gift this past weekend.
Emma Detwiler was diagnosed in utero with Pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum and Hypoplastic Right Ventricle (HRHS), a disease that, due to its severity, comes with an unknown life expectancy.
The specifics associated with the illness are complex but, more simply put, the baby’s heart in unable to pump enough blood to their lungs, making breathing difficult.
The rare disorder impacts a small number of infants every year, and the families that do receive the devastating news are typically asked if they want to carry the child to term. In the case of the Detwilers, Emma’s parents, they said yes. When Emma was born a few months ago, she was immediately put on life support with little hope of getting off unless she received a new heart. A long shot, but a possible one.
Baby Emma, now known as “Emma Strong,” had her fair share of setbacks while waiting for a new heart. One of the most threatening being when her blood turned septic, a condition that most don’t recover from, much less an infant on life support. At the time, Emma’s days seemed numbered.
According to a Facebook post shared on “Team Emma Strong,” Emma made a remarkable recovery, with the help of a brilliant medical team, along with prayers of friends and family, and her name was placed back on the transplant list.
Which led to the recent announcement Emma’s family shared with the world: Emma would be getting a new heart!
On Monday, Emma underwent a 10-hour transplant surgery.
After the surgery, the family shared that Emma had survived the procedure, but was not quite out of the woods — she still needs prayers.
The Detwiler’s are also accepting donations to cover their expenses related to Emma’s $500,000 transplant surgery — so far the family has raised $14,000.