Austin baby born with rare heart defect, turns 1, parents and doctor share update

Chase’s heart defect was discovered while Jaime was pregnant, resulting in open-heart surgery when he was just five days old.

AUSTIN, Texas – An Austin family is sharing an update after their son with a rare heart defect recently became one.

Chase Moreno was born with what is known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

“The ultrasound technician was struggling with a certain part of the scan and you could tell she was a bit nervous and not sure what was going on. We were kind of just ‘ok,'” said Jaime Moreno, Chase’s mom.

It’s news a pregnant Jaime Moreno never planned.

“Our son’s heart wasn’t growing as it should and he was suffering from a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which sounded like completely foreign language at the time,” Jaime said.

Stephen and Jaime Moreno are the parents of now 1-year-old Chase and their older son Blake.

Chase’s heart defect was diagnosed when Jaime was pregnant, but she soon got in touch with Dr. Eileen Stewart, director of the Single Ventricle Program at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

“Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a problem in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped and unable to handle the workload that the left side of the heart should normally be doing to pump into the body,” said Dr. Stewart.

Five days after the birth, Chase was sent for his first open-heart surgery, one of three surgeries he will undergo as a child.

Looking back on the surgeries, his father Stephen said he was scared for his son and the whole family at the moment.

Chase underwent a second surgery months later and is now awaiting his third, which is coming in a few years.

“When they hit late preschool, kindergarten age, which is somewhere between three and six years old, depending on the kid and what their heart looks like, they have a third surgery, and we call that the Fontan completion,” said Dr. Stewart .

Stephen noted that the help Dr. Stewart through her program at Dell Children’s called IMPACT was vital to him and Jaime.

“You know, these meetings and visits with Dr. Stewart’s team, it was more like an extended family get together and it was really fun,” said Stephen.

For Chase, he continues to keep a brave face through it all.

“He really is a very functional normal kid. And without seeing the scars on his chest or knowing our history, you’d never know when you met him, you’d never know he’s been involved with so much, let’s say under the hood,” Jaime said .

Both Jaime and Dr. Stewart now look forward to continuing her work with the IMPACT program for other families going through similar situations.

“It doesn’t have to be as dark as a cloud as it initially feels. I mean, there really has been a tremendous amount of medical advancement made and more to come,” Jaime said.

Watch the full interview with Jaime, Stephen and Dr. Stewart to:

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Laura Coffey

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