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Heart Warrior Stories


Collier was born in 2017 and was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) in the 20-week anatomy scan before birth. In HLHS, the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped. Like so many Heart Families, Collier’s parents decided to travel from their home in Mississippi to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where they left behind their 3-year-old son.

Just 5 days after birth, Collier had his first open heart surgery (OHS), the Norwood procedure, which is the first of 3 major OHS for HLHS. Shortly after his surgery, Collier’s incision became infected, and he had to receive 3 treatments over 7 days and continue IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. During that time, Collier could not come off oxygen because he had outgrown the shunt that was placed in the first procedure. He ate and grew like a champ, so his medical team decided to perform the second OHS, the Glenn procedure, just 5 days shy of 3 months old. Due to a complication, a chest tube had to be inserted. A day later, Collier decided he was done with the chest tube and pulled it out himself! Thankfully, the tube drained most of the fluid, so it didn’t need to be reinserted.

Collier was also quite picky about his food. He was switched to non-fat formula for 6 weeks, however hated the taste so much he refused to eat, so Collier had a feeding tube placed. As soon as the 6 weeks was over, the feeding tube was removed and Collier once again ate like a champ! Collier was discharged after a total of 110 days inpatient and made the trip back to Mississippi to meet his big brother.

Once he was discharged, he never looked back. Today, Collier attends a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care, which is a daycare for medically complex children. Collier’s parents are so thankful for how far he has come.  They continue to share their Heart Warrior’s story to give other Heart Parents hope for their Warriors.

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