Sydney McFall   |   July 18, 2018

Cain’s Story

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Birthday Surprise

Catherine and Brad Clinkscales went in on Catherine’s 30th birthday for her 20-week ultrasound to find out if they were having a boy or a girl. “I thought finding out the sex of our baby would be the best birthday present ever,” Catherine said. However, what they found out at that appointment would start a chain of events that would change their lives forever. Cain, their son, would be born with several severe congenital heart defects. Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, Tricuspid Atresia, Transposition of the Great Arteries, ASD, VSD, and a small aortic valve.

To survive, Cain would need a series of three open heart surgeries. “I cannot explain how sad we were that day. It was more than we thought we could handle.” On January 29th, 2009 Cain was born. He was not breathing so he was intubated and rushed to the NICU. “They briefly held him up just long enough for me to get a look at him before taking him away. It was a moment I will never forget.”

“We are so proud of Cain and how far he has come. It’s unbelievable to think of all he has been through in two short years.”

Two Years, Three Surgeries

At 6 days old Cain had his first open heart surgery, the Norwood. On February 17th the Clinkscales were discharged from the hospital. However, a week later they were back in the hospital due to GI bleeding. They stayed there for two more weeks. After a hearth cath, Cain had his second surgery, the Glenn, on June 5th. They were discharged, after a few up and downs, on June 16th.

On May 23, 2011 Cain had his third surgery, the Fontan. He rocked his recovery and was home in just 10 days! “We are so proud of Cain and how far he has come. It’s unbelievable to think of all he has been through in two short years.”

“I wish I could say I knew what the future holds for Cain, but his long-term prognosis is truly unknown. The research focused on CHDs, doctors, and medical advancements are what have helped Cain get to this moment.”

Unknown Prognosis

Currently, Cain is 9 years old and is doing great! He recently had an amazing cardiology appointment and his heart is strong. However, there is no cure for CHD and therefore no assurance everything will always be great. “I wish I could say I knew what the future holds for Cain, but his long-term prognosis is truly unknown. The research focused on CHDs, doctors, and medical advancements are what have helped Cain get to this moment,” Catherine said.

A lot of research is still needed for further advancements to be made and that’s where you can help. With your donation, you are helping fund congenital heart disease research. Help us in our mission to find a cure once and for all. Help us defeat CHD!

To help kids like Cain and Project Heart in our mission to defeat CHD click Donate now!

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