CJ’s Story

CJ was born with an undiagnosed heart defect. Having shown no symptoms or warning signs prior to his birth in any ultrasounds or tests, his condition came as a complete shock to his parents. He was born with Dextro-Transposition of the Great Vessels (d-TGA).

D-TGA is a congenital heart defect where the aorta and pulmonary artery are switched from their normal positions. In the normal heart, the right ventricle pumps out to the pulmonary artery (to the lungs) and the left ventricle pumps out to the aorta (to the body). Instead, in d-TGA, the aorta comes off of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery comes off the left ventricle. This makes it very hard to breathe and receive enough oxygen.

A few minutes after being born, CJ was intubated and immediately transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. At just eight-hours old, CJ underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure. When he was two-days old, he had open heart surgery.

He spent two weeks recovering from his surgery and battled collapsed lungs in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and another week in the step-down unit. When CJ was finally discharged to go home, he was on oxygen but was able to be weaned off of it over the next month.

“Because of Nationwide Children’s, we were able to bring CJ home. We have an extraordinary kid who is getting to live an ordinary life. Nationwide Children’s not only fixed his heart but guided us in coping and helping him heal. The staff was amazing, from making sure his dad got to hold him the night before his surgery to comforting me at 3 a.m. when all I wanted to do was hold my baby and I couldn’t. We simply cannot imagine our life without CJ,” says Jodi, CJ’s mom.

The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has expertise, compassion and the most advanced technologies. As the leader in pediatric care, Nationwide Children’s offers cardiology services, cardiothoracic surgery, and everything else you would expect to find at a nationally-renowned heart center.

Today, CJ has appointments in the cardio clinic every six to 12 months to monitor his heart. When he gets a little older, he will likely need stents or a catheter procedure, but for now he’s a typical kid. This fall, CJ will be starting kindergarten. He is an amazing big brother who lives for sports, loves to be outside, and can build LEGOs for hours.

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CJ was born with an undiagnosed heart defect. Having shown no symptoms or warning signs prior to his birth in any ultrasounds or tests, his condition came as a complete shock to his parents. He was born with Dextro-Transposition of the Great Vessels (d-TGA).

D-TGA is a congenital heart defect where the aorta and pulmonary artery are switched from their normal positions. In the normal heart, the right ventricle pumps out to the pulmonary artery (to the lungs) and the left ventricle pumps out to the aorta (to the body). Instead, in d-TGA, the aorta comes off of the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery comes off the left ventricle. This makes it very hard to breathe and receive enough oxygen.

A few minutes after being born, CJ was intubated and immediately transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. At just eight-hours old, CJ underwent a cardiac catheterization procedure. When he was two-days old, he had open heart surgery.

He spent two weeks recovering from his surgery and battled collapsed lungs in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and another week in the step-down unit. When CJ was finally discharged to go home, he was on oxygen but was able to be weaned off of it over the next month.

“Because of Nationwide Children’s, we were able to bring CJ home. We have an extraordinary kid who is getting to live an ordinary life. Nationwide Children’s not only fixed his heart but guided us in coping and helping him heal. The staff was amazing, from making sure his dad got to hold him the night before his surgery to comforting me at 3 a.m. when all I wanted to do was hold my baby and I couldn’t. We simply cannot imagine our life without CJ,” says Jodi, CJ’s mom.

The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has expertise, compassion and the most advanced technologies. As the leader in pediatric care, Nationwide Children’s offers cardiology services, cardiothoracic surgery, and everything else you would expect to find at a nationally-renowned heart center.

Today, CJ has appointments in the cardio clinic every six to 12 months to monitor his heart. When he gets a little older, he will likely need stents or a catheter procedure, but for now he’s a typical kid. This fall, CJ will be starting kindergarten. He is an amazing big brother who lives for sports, loves to be outside, and can build LEGOs for hours.

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