Meet Jaida

We were blessed with a triplet pregnancy in 2012. All was going well until our 12 week appointment when our Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors told us something was not quite right with Baby B’s heart. Many ultrasounds later, it was still not confirmed what the outcome would be but we knew that we had to keep the babies in as long as possible to allow for the greatest chance for survival.

On Aug. 9, 2012 our triplets entered the word. Jaida was 3lbs. 7oz and was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Her diagnosis was not hopeful because of her small size. Although her chances of survival were slim, the wonderful surgeons at Hershey gave us hope that something could be done to give her the opportunity to grow large enough for Norwood Surgery. We had no choice but to put our trust in God, the surgeons and our daughter.

Over the course of several days staring on August 20, 2012, Jaida had 2 banding procedures done on her pulmonary arteries to reduce the blood flow to her lungs. She then stayed in the care of the PICU doctors until she grew to a size of 6lbs. It was a long wait, but then on October 25, 2012 she was finally ready for the first HLHS surgery, the Norwood Surgery. Her surgery went well and she came home on a fat free diet because of some minor complications due to Chylothorax.

Jaida was able to come home on November 30, 2012 and finally be with her brother and sister. That day we said farewell for now and thank you to the many nurses and doctors that cared for her as well as Bob, her Child Life volunteer baby holder. We also found out from doctors that Jaida was the smallest survivor of this series of surgeries at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Jaida truly was our miracle baby!

Once home, we participated in the Home Monitoring Program, keeping track of her weight, food intake, oxygen levels, etc. This kept our doctors and nurses abreast of how she was doing at home, gave us a chance to ask questions and address any concerns before they became issues.

By February 13, 2013, she was ready for her second HLHS surgery, the Hemi Fontan Surgery. We learned on the day of her surgery that Jaida was going to be the first child to have surgery in the new children’s hospital. Another honor to add to her story! Her surgery was a success but she was still battling with Chylothorax. We were able to bring her home on March 8, 2013. Although her heart issue was a huge challenge, the challenges we were not prepared for were those related to feeding and GI. We struggled through the feeding and GI issues but still keep her eating and gaining weight in preparation for the last HLHS surgery.

Today, she is an active 2 year old with two siblings the same age who don’t discriminate when it comes to sibling rivalry. She loves animals, reading books, swinging, singing and cuddling. Her favorite foods are avocados and anything with cheese and chocolate.

We now wait for her third HLHS surgery, the Fontan Surgery. But for now, we enjoy our little fighter and pray for her life to be full and with purpose as the years continue. God Bless all those that have cared for and prayed for her and our family. In addition, we cannot thank the staff at the Penn State Children’s Hospital enough for giving us HOPE and using their God given talents to do all they can to give our little miracle a chance at greatness.

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