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Hayden's Story

On June 8th, 2010, Hayden Kuhnz was born in to the world at Meriter Hospital in Madison, WI. During Hayden's first day, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses had a difficult time keeping his oxygen levels up. Finally, after it was decided that something may be wrong, Dr. Carter Ralphe of The American Family Children's Hospital in Madison came to the NICU and performed an Echocardiogram on his heart. We learned later that day that Hayden had a congenital heart defect known as Transposition of the Great Vessels or TGV.

TGV is essentially where the two main arteries going into the heart, the pulmonary and aorta, are switched. In turn, the oxygentated blood coming from the lungs to the heart was not being circulated to the rest of his body which explains why Hayden's oxygen levels wouldn't stay up.

At a week old, Hayden underwent correct surgery called the "Arterial Switch" which was performed flawlessly by the late cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Hennein. After a long 12 hours of waiting, Hayden came out of surgery with tubes attached, wiring all over the place and lots of people running around. It was organized chaos and very scary to experience but we knew that these were professionals and they knew what they were doing. With God's blessing and the unbelievable work of the doctors, nurses and support of our family, Hayden got out of the hospital after 27 days of post operative intensive care.

Hayden finally reunited with his twin sister, Hadley, at home where they could start their lives at a home instead of a hospital.

At about 9 months old, Hayden required a follow-up surgery. The aorta that was switched began to "kink" or develop stenosis. Think of a garden hose when you are watering the flowers. When the hose becomes kinked, the water flow slows. When Hayden's aorta started to "kink", it impeded blood flow to his heart. Because you can't simply unkink the main artery in your body, Dr. Tweddell of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee put a patch in the artery to open it up and allow blood to once again flow at a regular pace to the heart.

After a few days, Hayden came home and today continues to grow and play like a normal little boy. We are so blessed to have had the support of our families and friends during this time and we thank God that he put people on this earth with the ability to fix Hayden's problem.

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