Healing Henry's Heart
After an uneventful eight months of pregnancy, baby Henry’s parents learned at her 35-week appointment that he has a severe mitral valve defect along with other heart problems including aortic valve stenosis and an enlarged left atrium. His mother, Jennifer, was quickly sent to Boston Children’s Hospital to prepare for Henry’s birth. On October 27, 2016 baby Henry was born and within 18 minutes of his birth, baby Henry underwent his first of countless surgeries, a valuloplasty. One week later, he had his first open heart surgery.
Since commuting back and forth to the hospital to care for her sick newborn, mom Jennifer was forced to resign from her job as a restaurant designer, leaving dad Joel as the sole provider for Henry and his two young siblings.
After spending the first seven months of his life in the hospital, Henry was finally able to go home in June but with only half of his heart working, he came home with a feeding tube, a houseful of medical equipment and a revolving door of daily visits from nurses, therapists, specialists among others. He travels to Boston once a week for appointments and is scheduled for his next open heart surgery sometime between the age of two and three. He will have subsequent surgeries similar in nature well into his teen years.