Keith's Story

On October 22, 2006 my husband and I welcomed our first little miracle into this world. Keith William was born on time and under the presumption that he was completely healthy; with the exception of a minor heart murmur. However, at two months old Keith was diagnosed with a ventricular septeal defect that would require open heart surgery to be fixed. It’s a pretty regular procedure that is preformed in children with congenital heart defects such as our son’s. But Keith’s journey has been anything but normal. His first open heart was on April 4th, 2007. He pulled through it very well, and the vsd was fixed. However he went into partial heart block due to some nerve damage caused by the surgery, and required the implantation of a pacemaker before he was able to leave the PICU. We were also told that during his first surgery the surgeon had discovered that his mitral valve would at some point need to be replaced. They were predicting that he would be about five or so before this would be necessary. After a long stay at Children's Mercy; Keith was sent home to grow so that the replacement surgery would be successful. Ten days after his hospital release he was back into surgery for that very procedure. The valve was replaced and Keith bounced back quickly. He is required to take certain medications that with a three year old can be very demanding, and he is looking at several more surgeries as he outgrows this valve.

Keith is now three and a very active little boy. Although it’s sometimes very challenging to answer his questions about why he has to do "this or that", it's very rewarding to see that even through health problems such as this he is thriving. We are very blessed to have him and each smile reminds us of that.

Melissa Herd