Approximately one out of every 100 babies is born with a heart defect. But three out of Megan Moore’s four babies faced that reality. Her son Carter was born with a common heart murmur, which closed overnight and required no medical intervention. But her daughters Chloe and Hailey were born with far more serious heart conditions, which required surgery and extensive treatment.
“Chloe was born in 2009 with a heart murmur too, and they thought it also might close overnight, but it was still there the next day,” Megan recalls. “The cardiologist from Saskatoon happened to be in Regina that day and took a look and diagnosed her with a serious heart defect a day after she was born.”
Doctors discovered a hole between the chambers of Chloe’s heart, so the oxygenated and non-oxygenated blood would mix. Until she was three years old, she required several surgeries, including one to create a pulmonary artery.
When Megan was pregnant again in 2011, she learned that baby Hailey also had a hole in her heart and a narrow pulmonary artery that would make it harder for her heart to pump blood to the rest of her body. Hailey has had two surgeries, and will one day require a valve replacement.
Chloe will also need a valve replacement, as her last repair will only last five to 10 years. She’s also had more problems with her heart than her younger sister. When Chloe was eight, she developed an infection in her heart. It took six weeks of IV antibiotics before she recovered, luckily without surgery.
Both girls visit the pediatric outpatient unit at Regina General Hospital at least once a year. Having cardiologists visit the unit regularly is a blessing for the family, as they now live in Moose Jaw.
“My parents and my husband’s parents both live in Regina so if we need help, they can come with us,” Megan says. “It’s nice to have the extra hands and support.”
“The pediatric outpatient unit at Regina General Hospital sees more than 4,000 visits every year,” said Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Starting in 2019, that number is expected to climb close to 9,000 visits a year, due to restructuring of provincial pediatric services."
"More than ever, the Foundation is committed to supporting those services, and investing in the best possible care for our children, right here at home.”
Photo: The Moore family (Hailey far right, Chloe third from right)