Vim & Vigor - Spring 2012 - North Mississippi - (Page 49)

Three-year-old Deon Kirkwood is off to a swinging start in life, despite being born with a rare heart defect. Baby T Three years later, a Starkville boy continues to thrive after being born with a rare heart defect o look at 3-year-old Deon Kirkwood now, you’d never know he had such a rough start in life. Shortly after Deon was born in October 2008, the doctor told his parents, Darries and Wanda, that something was wrong. “I had noticed that he wasn’t very responsive. He wasn’t really crying,” Wanda Kirkwood says. “His coloring wasn’t very good either.” The North Mississippi Medical Center Women’s Hospital neonatal transport team came on Carexpress to take Deon to Tupelo from Starkville. The board-certified neonatologists conferred with pediatric cardiologist Courtney Anthony, M.D., from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. He diagnosed Deon with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare birth defect where parts of the left side of the heart do not develop completely. “When this happens, the left side of the heart is unable to send enough blood to the body,” Anthony explains. “Circulation to the body must go through a connection between the pulmonary artery and the aorta, which will close off within the first day or so. When this happens, the baby cannot survive.” Babies born with this condition require a series of surgeries, the first of which is done when the baby is only a few days old. Deon was transferred to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. “Deon was born on Thursday and was at Vanderbilt by that same night,” Wanda says. “The following Tuesday he had surgery. He stayed at Vanderbilt for two months and came home around Thanksgiving.” You’ve Come a Long Way, CAll For more information about Le Bonheur clinic and NMMC, call 866-870-PEDS or visit Healthy Babies, Happy Babies A Turning PoinT Anthony delivered good news at Deon’s next appointment in Tupelo. Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Christopher KnottCraig, M.D., had joined Le Bonheur’s staff in Memphis and could do the remaining surgeries if the Kirkwoods wanted to transfer. For the family, having Deon’s two cardiac catheterization procedures and second heart surgery in Memphis and follow-up care in Tupelo has been a blessing. Like many children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Deon developed a little slower than his peers. “We want Deon to see the best doctors,” his mother says of the pediatric cardiology and neurology specialists involved in his care, “and we’re willing to do whatever that takes. We love driving to Tupelo!” Reaching Out Thanks to a partnership between Le Bonheur Children’s Outreach Programs and NMMC, families in north Mississippi have access to pediatric subspecialty physicians in Tupelo. Appointments are available with a pediatrician’s referral. Specialties include: • pediatric cardiology • pediatric neurology • pediatric gastroenterology • pediatric neurosurgery • pediatric general surgery • pediatric pulmonology Vim & Vigor • SPRI NG 2012 49

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2012 - North Mississippi

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2012 - North Mississippi
Opening Thoughts
Building Healthier Hearts
Young at Heart
Caring for the Little Ones
Get Real
How Far We’ve Come
Patient Survival Guide
Perfect Attendance
Jennifer Hudson, Grammy-winning recording artist
Lean on Me
Intimidated by the Gym?
What Is Your Volunteer Style?
A Prescription for Relief
Virtual Health
SPECIAL You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
Get Heart Healthy!
Growing Stronger
The Doctor Will See You Now
Catch the Spirit

Vim & Vigor - Spring 2012 - North Mississippi