Deacon was just 10 days old when he had his first open heart surgery.
Deacon was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which is a condition where the left side chambers of the heart develop too small to work effectively. This is a problem because the left side of the heart pumps blood to the body. With this side being too small, the body does not get the blood it needs. As a result, the baby can become very sick shortly after birth, and is at high risk of death if left untreated which is why Deacon underwent surgery.
Post-surgery, Deacon showed his fervor and fight for life by rising above his conditions, and thriving. Because he was doing so well, he was able to have his final heart surgery performed earlier than expected, at just over 2 years old.
The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides pediatric and adult heart patients with outstanding diagnostic, treatment and research facilities and consolidates all cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery services into a comprehensive model for family-centered care.
Deacon is a huge Columbus Blue Jackets fan, and during his 2nd stage surgery, the Family Resource Center opened. His mom was able to attend the opening ceremony and get his Columbus Blue Jackets onesie signed by all the players. It now hangs framed above his bed as one of his most prized possessions.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital means EVERYTHING to me. Without it I wouldn’t have my son and best friend. I am thankful every day for having The Heart Center and Hospital in my backyard. I’ve since moved an hour away, but we return to Columbus for everything even with other hospitals closer. Nationwide Children’s was our home and family the first 2 years of Deacon’s life. I wouldn’t have him without them,” says Elizabeth, Deacon’s mom.
Deacon continues to encourage those around him with the biggest “half-heart” of anyone. Deacon is an honor roll student, has volunteered at animal shelters and loves playing sports. He’s played soccer and more recently played baseball this spring where his team won his league championship. You can find him with a smile on his face, always!