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    Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute

    Keira B. - Tiny Fighter

    Keira B. -
    Keira B. - Tiny Fighter

    Crystal and her husband Bobby were excited when they found out they were expecting their first child, and everything about their pregnancy was routine up until Crystal's sixth month. At a routine ultrasound appointment the imaging technologist was unable to find the baby's heart. Crystal and Bobby were referred to Dr. Stan Wright, pediatric cardiologist with Sutter Children's Center.

    "We found out that our baby had a heart defect and that she would need surgery within her first few months of life," said Crystal. "The thought of your newborn baby having to undergo surgery was overwhelming."

    Crystal continued to have a healthy pregnancy and delivered her baby girl Keira with no complications. Keira was immediately transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sutter Memorial Hospital so she could be under the care of Sutter's neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists including Dr. Wright and pediatric heart surgeons (Teimour Nasirov, M.D., and Naurito Watanabe, M.D.).

    "When we were in the NICU I received a call from Dr. Nasirov to introduce himself and I was impressed that he would take time out of his schedule to check in with me," said Crystal. "When we met in person with Dr. Nasirov and Dr. Watanabe they made us feel so comfortable and educated about Keera's surgery and her plan of care. And from there on I was continually made aware that we had chosen the right team."

    Unfortunately because of Keira's heart defect her body started failing. She had heart failure, liquid in her lungs and wasn't gaining weight fast enough. While the team originally wanted to wait a few months to perform Keira's surgery, they decided it would have to be moved up.

    "The day of her surgery we put our brave faces on," said Crystal. "But when they took her into the operating room we lost it. It was a rough few hours, but Dr. Wright would come out often to update and reassure us. And at the end of surgery Dr. Watanabe let us know that Keira an atrial septal defect and a ventricular septal defect, and both had been repaired."

    After six days recovering in Sutter's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Keira was able to return home with her parents. "Before surgery we would get a little smile from Keira here and there," said Bobby. "But just a few days after surgery the difference was truly noticeable."

    Moving forward Keira will continue to see Dr. Wright for echocardiograms, but after a few more weeks of recovery she will be able to enjoy all the same activities other babies her age.

    "We're so excited to enjoy our newborn period without the worry we had about her health issues before the surgery," said Crystal. "We are so thankful for our Sutter team."

    Learn more about our Pediatric Heart Surgery program.


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