Olivia Juliette | Heart Warrior of the Week
Name: Olivia Juliette Gonzalez
Heart defect(s): aortic stenosis with bicuspid valve, ebstein's anamoly, chromosome 5p deletion
Date of birth: 04/17/2017
Received care at: Children's hospital of Los Angeles
Surgical history: Correction of mal-rotation at a week old and gtube placement on July 12, 2017. Thankfully she has not needed any heart surgeries yet, but she has had 2 surgeries. Olivia was born with mal-rotation (her intestines didn't develop properly) and at one-week-old, she had surgery to correct it. While in the NICU, we worked on her feeding but she didn't have the suck/swallow coordination that many infants are born with. She also didn't tolerate large volumes of liquids at a time which would cause vomiting. Ultimately, it was discovered that she was aspirating so we were given the option to have a g-tube placed.
Time spent in hospital: Olivia was at the NICU for the first three months of her life. Immediately after being discharged, she was re-admitted two times for vomiting. She has been admitted multiple times since then. In May of 2018, she was admitted for a cold that became bronchiolitis. Due to her CHD, she is more susceptible to illness; even a simple cold or stomach bug can land her in the hospital.
Future surgeries: We do not anticipate any surgeries at the moment but we know that is a possibility that can change at any given moment.
Fun Fact: She is a happy girl full of life who loves the outdoors. She recently started taking small steps with full support and it gives us hope that someday we will see her running!
A letter to Olivia from her Mom, Mayra:
Aortic Valve Atresia/Stenosis
Anatomy: The aortic valve, which connects the left ventricle to the aorta, is severely narrowed. There are three common types:
Valvar Aortic Stenosis
The valve leaflets are thickened and/or narrowed.
Supravalvar Aortic Stenosis
Narrowing of the section of the aorta just above the valve that connects the aorta to the heart (aortic valve).
Subvalvar (Infundibular) Aortic Stenosis
The muscle under the valve area is thickened, narrowing the outflow tract from the left ventricle.
Complications: This abnormality restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium. As a result, the heart has to pump harder and the body is deprived of oxygen.
Symptoms: Fatigue upon exertion, failure to gain weight, poor or inadequate feeding, breathing problems.
Treatment: Options for aortic valve atresia/stenosis include medical management with medicine, valve replacement via open-heart surgery, or a balloon procedure via catheterization.
Prevalence: Aortic valve atresia/stenosis accounts for approximately 6% of all CHS cases, occurring in 3.8 out of every 10,000 live births worldwide.
Anatomy: The leaflets of the tricuspid valve are abnormally formed and sit lower in the right ventricle than normal.
Complications: Due to this malformation, blood may leak back through the valve, making your heart work less efficiently and leaving the body with low oxygen saturations. It may also lead to enlargement of the heart or heart failure.
Symptoms: Mild forms may cause no symptoms but patients with more severe cases may experience shortness of breath, especially with exertion, fatigue, heart palpitations or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), and a bluish discoloration of the lips and skin (cyanosis).
Treatment: Depending on the severity of the case, Ebstein’s anomaly can be treated with medications, surgery or heart transplant.
Prevalence: Occurs in about 1 out of every 20,000 live births, affecting boys and girls equally.