On Mother’s Day 2012, after six and half years of marriage, Beto and I found out we were expecting our first baby. We were beyond thrilled!
My pregnancy was pretty normal until our 20 week ultrasound. That was the day we found out we were having a boy, and it was also the day we found out there might be a problem with Beckham’s heart. One month later Beckham was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), meaning only half of his heart developed.
The next 12 weeks were filled with anticipation, anxiety, and hope. Beckham was born on 12.21.12 weighing 5lbs 13oz, and surprising us all by coming four weeks early. He underwent his first open heart surgery, the Norwood Procedure, at 12 days old. After seven weeks in the hospital, we were able to take our sweet boy home.
As a new family of three we enjoyed seven wonderful weeks at home before a very unfortunate turn of events. On April first we admitted Beckham to Children’s due to worrisome symptoms of unusual fussiness and vomiting. An echo of his heart confirmed that his tricuspid valve had severe regurgitation. Within a few hours our son had a cardiac arrest requiring nearly an hour of CPR and ECMO life support. After eight days on ECMO, Beckham underwent open heart surgery to repair his tricuspid valve. This acute change to the tricuspid valve is something no one (on Beckham’s care team at Children’s in Dallas) has ever seen in a child before. We are so thankful for the brilliant, creative skills of Beckham’s surgeon.
The weeks that followed this surgery were filled with times of fear and great hope. We watched and waited for Beckham to heal, wake up, and breathe on his own. Over time we began to see the severe extent of injury his little brain suffered during CPR. Beckham currently does not have a swallow or gag reflex. He also struggles with most basic things like tracking, grabbing, and crying. Without significant improvement in these areas he will not be a candidate for further cardiac intervention. This gives him roughly four to six months to live.
We were able to bring our sweet boy home at the beginning of June. We are hoping for a miracle. We covet your prayers. Thank you for following our story and loving our sweet Beckham.