First-time parents, Catherine and Dustin were so excited to be welcoming a baby girl into their lives last summer. However, within 48 hours of delivery in their hometown of Invermere, it was clear something wasn’t right.
Baby June needed more medical support, so they were airlifted to Kelowna where multiple tests were run to try to determine why her breathing wasn’t improving. After two weeks and no answers, June was referred to cardiology experts at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. It was there that Catherine and Dustin received the news that their baby had a ventricular septal defect – a large hole between the two chambers of her heart – that had gone completely undetected throughout Catherine’s pregnancy.
“In our eyes, June was completely perfect,” says Catherine. “It was surprising to find out that there was a major issue with her heart that would require an operation to fix.”
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Tackling Congenital Heart Defects
Findings from this innovative project will make a life-saving and life-changing difference for nearly 1,000 babies born each year with Congenital Heart Defects across our province.LEARN MORE
Fortunately, a corrective surgery was able to repair the hole and now June is meeting all her milestones as a busy, happy toddler. And for that, Catherine and Dustin will be forever grateful.
“ We can’t say enough about the support we received from her care team. However, had we discovered in advance that June would face this challenge, we would have known how to help her right away.”
– Catherine, June’s Mom
With your support, researchers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute believe there is potential to develop a routine blood test to provide earlier detection of congenital heart defects (CHDs) or other anomalies at birth so parents like Catherine and Dustin can be prepared in advance. Identifying these problems sooner would lead to better prenatal care and the opportunity for life-saving interventions. Learn More.