“He endured pacemaker surgery at just 3-years-old”
Alex was first treated at Miami Children’s Hospital when he was a mere 5 days old. Diagnosed at birth with Heterotaxy syndrome, left atrial isomerism, and polysplenia, baby Alex had a number of surgical procedures ahead of him. Without corrective surgery, most children with Heterotaxy syndrome and significant heart problems do not survive past age one.
Heterotaxy syndrome occurs when organs form on the opposite side of the body. In Alex’s case, his heart was situated on the right side of his body rather than the left side. In addition, Alex has left atrial isomerism, also called polysplenia (multiple spleens), which is when dual organs mirror or are duplicated on the left side.
Now 3-years-old, Alex recently underwent his third open heart surgery. In addition, “Alexander the brave” has had over three cardiac catherizations, where a needle and catheter are threaded through the blood vessels into the heart. He has endured the placement of a pacemaker, shunts and a pericardial patch to repair his heart. A pericardiocentesis was also necessary to remove fluid from around Alex’s heart.
For every one million babies born, four of them will have Heterotaxy syndrome. Both Alex’s condition and strength are rare. The social-3 year-old is also very sweet and playful. “Alex truly shines when he gets to help his family and the medical staff by demonstrating how much he has learned,” says his nominating Child Life Specialist. His willful spirit and persistent nature make Alex determined to complete tasks on his own. He loves to help the nurses take his blood pressure and temperature.
It is with great pleasure that Kids Wish Network and Miami Children’s Hospital honor Alex’s bravery by recognizing him as Hero of the Month! Way to go Alex!