Thursday, July 12, 2007


Ethan was born on May 1st. He was born with a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). In a nut shell Ethan was born without a working left ventricle. Ethan had his 1st of 3 surgeries on May 7th when he was 6 days old. While at Primary Children's we met a local family who's son Alex was born 10 days earlier with the same heart condition (from what I've read it only occurs in about 1% of the population). We enjoy keeping up on Alex's progress via their blog and so we are following in their footsteps. This has been a very scary time in our life. Ethan was not diagnosed in utero and we feel very blessed that his condition was discovered soon after his birth. The condition is terminal if not caught before the PDA starts to close. When we were first informed about his condition the Cardiologist at McKay Dee told us we had only 3 options: (1) take Ethan home and enjoy him for a few days before he died, (2) move to a transplant center in either Colorado or California and get on a transplant waiting list for a new infant heart, or (3) go through a series of 3 surgeries which essentially re-constructs and then re-routes Ethan's blood to the two working chambers in his heart. This approach will buy Ethan time until his late teens or early 20's when he will eventually need a donor heart. We obviously selected the surgical route and Ethan was flown by the LifeFlight Helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. Ethan did remarkably well following his first surgery and was released from the hospital 3 weeks and one day after surgery. We were told by the cardiac team at Primary's that Ethan was the first child with HLHS to be discharged without a feeding tube. Normally, an infant with HLHS will become fatigued before they can finish a normal feeding on their own making a feeding tube necessary to ensure that the infant receives enough nutrition. Ethan was the exception, as Tim said "Never underestimate a Curtis baby when it comes to eating."

Although in the beginning we were very upset and overwhelmed, we have never doubted the Lord's hand in our lives and we feel very blessed. We truly feel that we have been prepared for Ethan's arrival in many areas of our lives. Additionally, we have been overwhelmed by the love, support, and encouragement from our family, friends and our local church congregation. We could fill a separate blog simply recounting our blessings and thanking everyone. Needless to say we couldn't have come this far without the support, prayers and blessings that we have recieved. We are truly thankful for your support and will endevor to keep you updated as Ethan's journey progresses.