• Home

Baby celebrates first birthday after unique heart surgery

Posted: Updated:

CLEVELAND CLINIC - Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is February 7 – 14.

About 40,000 babies are born each year in the United States with a heart defect, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

Jeremiah Powers, from Ohio, was one of them and has a lot to celebrate as he turns one-year-old. A year ago he, was struggling to breathe and waiting to grow large enough for open heart surgery. 

“It was tough to swallow that my son would need open heart surgery in order to live,” said Rachel Powers, Jeremiah’s mother.

Congenital heart problems are the most common type of birth defect, but Jeremiah’s was more complex than most.

“Normally the heart forms with four chambers and in between those chambers there are two valves,” said Tess Saarel, M.D., Chair of Pediatric Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “His two valves weren’t separated, there was one large valve and there was a hole between the lower two chambers and also the upper chambers.” 

Jeremiah’s blood was flowing backwards at times, putting strain on his heart, and filling his lungs with fluid. 

“He did struggle to breathe,” Powers said. “Every time he would breathe you could see his ribs. Around his lips would get a little bit blue when he would cry or just randomly throughout the day.”

At four months old, and weighing just 11 pounds, Jeremiah underwent open heart surgery. The chambers and valve inside his tiny heart were separated to function normally and patched in a unique way – using his own tissue. 

“I used the covering of the heart, which is called the pericardium; I cut it to appropriate dimensions – it is very important to cut to exact dimensions - so we can get the repair,” said Hani Najm, M.D., Chair of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Survery. “The beauty of this material is that it’s pliable; it’s soft. It gets attached to the heart and heals very well.” 

Jeremiah is now thriving and doctors say his future is bright. His heart repair will be monitored as he grows and he may need another procedure down the road. But, for now, he doesn’t have any restrictions and can even play most non-contact sports when he’s old enough. 

“It’s truly a miracle with modern medicine that he was able to have the successful open heart surgery and that we could celebrate his first birthday; it’s truly a miracle,” said Powers. 

SOURCE: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/data.html

    • Texas News Minute

      The latest Texas news from The Associated Press
    • HTN Update: Police arrest Victoria man, seize shotgun and ammunition

      Happy Friday crossroads! I'm Newscenter 25's Amber Joseph with your Hometown News Update  The Victoria Police Department arrested a man on a burglary charge Wednesday morning. 

    • Coaches, AD react to growing college basketball corruption scandal

      According to a Yahoo Sports report Friday, players and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from Andy Miller and his agency.  A balance sheet from December 2015 lists several payments under "Loan to Players," including $43,500 to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith, who played at N.C. State last season.

    • Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing US waters

      CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Coast Guard crews stopped two lanchas with a total of ten Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lanchas and 584 red snapper, totaling 2,814 lbs, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing. “...
    • Victoria Police investigating crash; driver ran off

      Around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning. Victoria Police found a vehicle crashed into a pillar near the Victoria Mall. The driver was no where to be found. Authorities said it happened near Zac Lentz Parkway and Salem Road.  Officers checked with local hospitals to see if the driver needed care. 
    • Pet of the Week

      The Dorothy O'Connor Pet Adoption Center showcased two pets that need a forever home.  Ribbons is a charcoal Retriever, Lab, Terrier. She is five-months-old.  Our cat this week is Oliver. He is almost two-years-old. A small domestic short hair.  Click here for more.  Here's more on DOCPAC: Dorothy Hanna O’Connor Dorothy Hanna O’Connor (1907-1992), Victoria’s preeminent caregiver of dogs and cats, established Six Flags Humane Society in 1963 ...
    • Gov. Abbott Commutes Death Sentence Of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker

      AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation commuting the death sentence of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker following a unanimous decision by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Thomas Bartlett Whitaker will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. Governor Abbott released the following statement: “As a former trial court judge, Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General involved in prosecuting some of the most ...
    • Early voting numbers February 23

      REPUBLICAN Early voters in person today 263 Total early voters in person to date 750 Total ballots by mail requested to date 1300 Total ballots returned to date 733 Total early voters to date 1483 

    • GenTx Find Your Way to Pay Day

      As graduation season approaches, most seniors anticipate college. But money can often be a concern.  Victoria College, and the University of Houston-Victoria are partnering with gen-tex, to bring a free event to educate students and parents. 

    • Coast Guard, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi sign Memorandum of Agreement

      CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi officials signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding cooperation in education and recruiting efforts Tuesday. Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, Eighth Coast Guard District commander, signed the MOA with Dr. Kelly M. Quintanilla, president and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The agreement optimizes outreach and engagement for the Coast Guard’s recruiting efforts while assisting A&M-Corpus C...
Current Conditions