Twice Blessed

Oct 30, 2012 | Suzanne Ferguson | @suzannerferguson

Iowa Public Radio has shared the exciting news that after nearly 4 months, Ava was finally given the green light to go home!

Credit Pat Blank Mayo Clinic pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Harold Burkhart, Brad Weitl with Aidan, Christina DeShaw with Ava and Dr. Ben Eidem, pediatric cardiologist

At 18 weeks of pregnancy, Brad Weitl and Christina DeShaw discovered that one of their twins had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare congential heart conditition in which the left side of the heart is severely underdeveloped. This was Ava. Her twin brother, Aidan, had a healthy normal heart. After the diagnosis, Christina searched the internet to gather information about what to do next. “You know doing the research was good because I understood what it was, but it was also scary because it’s a very serious defect. And in doing the research I knew we had to find her the best possible care and that was going to increase her chance for survival.” Read the full story at,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the HLHS blog.

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