Makenzie’s Story

Krissy Rugg was six months pregnant when a routine ultrasound revealed that her unborn daughter, Makenzie, had a life-threatening heart defect – right hypoplastic heart disease. This meant that only one of the chambers in Makenzie’s heart was pumping blood. So, even though just a little baby, Makenzie had open heart surgery to implant a synthetic blood vessel to help her heart to deliver blood more efficiently to her lungs. But this wouldn’t be Makenzie’s last surgery. Because her graft was synthetic, it wouldn’t grow with her. In time, Makenzie would need a series of three open heart surgeries to replace the graft.

While it was difficult for Krissy to know that her daughter would need so many risky procedures, she could see that her life depended on them. As Makenzie grew into an active toddler who loved to run and play, she would get tired too easily. Krissy would tell Makenzie that she is special because she may not have a normal heart, but she has a big heart and would always be Mom’s Hero. Even though they traveled far and were away from their family in Pennsylvania, “…the trip was a labor of love not just for Makenzie but for the physicians and researchers who changed our daughter’s life,” says Krissy. And Makenzie is partial to some of her nurses – she loves them just as much as she loves Minnie Mouse.

http://nchflutter.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Makenzie1000.png

Krissy Rugg was six months pregnant when a routine ultrasound revealed that her unborn daughter, Makenzie, had a life-threatening heart defect – right hypoplastic heart disease. This meant that only one of the chambers in Makenzie’s heart was pumping blood. So, even though just a little baby, Makenzie had open heart surgery to implant a synthetic blood vessel to help her heart to deliver blood more efficiently to her lungs. But this wouldn’t be Makenzie’s last surgery. Because her graft was synthetic, it wouldn’t grow with her. In time, Makenzie would need a series of three open heart surgeries to replace the graft.

While it was difficult for Krissy to know that her daughter would need so many risky procedures, she could see that her life depended on them. As Makenzie grew into an active toddler who loved to run and play, she would get tired too easily. Krissy would tell Makenzie that she is special because she may not have a normal heart, but she has a big heart and would always be Mom’s Hero. Even though they traveled far and were away from their family in Pennsylvania, “…the trip was a labor of love not just for Makenzie but for the physicians and researchers who changed our daughter’s life,” says Krissy. And Makenzie is partial to some of her nurses – she loves them just as much as she loves Minnie Mouse.

Share Makenzie's Story

Comments

More Stories

  • Michael S.

    Age: 3 Years | Research Study Participant

  • Julie, Lauren & Jared M.

    Age: 7 Years | Prematurity

  • John E.

    Age: 25 Years | Urinary Tract Disorder

  • Reed S.

    Age: 6 Years | CHARGE Syndrome

  • Oliver T.

    Age: 4 Years | Gastrochisis

  • Makya M.

    Age: 14 Years | ADHD