Callie was a blessing the Morefield family had been waiting for. Their first daughter Chloe was born with a rare gene mutation, so they were scared to continue growing their family in fear of the mutation being genetic. They had extensive genetic testing done on their family and found out they were healthy and cleared to have another baby. After a while of trying Jessica Morefield became pregnant and they were over the moon.
“I can remember walking out of the appointment and melting in the hallway. How could this be? Our baby was supposed to be healthy!”
8 weeks in, genetic blood work was done and the baby was perfectly heathy. “We felt so blessed,” Jessica said. However, at the 18-week sonogram Callie’s parents heard the words “we can’t find her right outflow tract” but the doctor seemed confident she just needed to grow more to find it. Two weeks go by and the doctor still could not find it. It was determined that Callie had Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). Jessica said, “I can remember walking out of the appointment and melting in the hallway. How could this be? Our baby was supposed to be healthy!”
Two more weeks pass and the Morefields meet with Dr. Christensen at Vanderbilt Children’s to really look at their baby’s heart. In preparation, Jessica researched everything she could about TOF and congenital heart disease as she had never heard of either. After the fetal echo, which “seemed to take hours,” the Morefields were taken into a little room only to be told that their baby did not have TOF but instead was suffering from Truncus Arteriosus, one of the rarest congenital heart diseases. This means that Callie has no pulmonary artery or aorta. She only has a truncal valve.
“Our girl is the true definition of a fighter. Our family has been double blessed!”
Their family was shocked. Jessica had prepared herself for TOF not Truncus Arteriosus. So, she had one question for Dr. Christensen, “Is it worse than TOF?” The answer made her melt again, “I am sorry, but yes, it is worse.”
Callie was born August 7, 2016. She arrived early and was the biggest heart baby the hospital staff had seen, a whopping 8lbs 12oz. At eight days old Callie had her first open heart surgery. After some minor setbacks, four weeks later the Morefields went home with their beautiful baby girl. Callie has had one heart catherization and echos every three months. “Our girl is the true definition of a fighter,” Jessica said. She will have her next repair sometime in the coming months and is expected to have around five open heart surgeries in her life time. Currently she is thriving. “Our family has been double blessed!”
Before Callie, the Morefield family had never heard of congenital heart disease. Sadly, this is the reality for many people. This is why CHD research is grossly underfunded. This is why there is no cure for CHD. Help us raise awareness, help us raise funds for research, help us defeat CHD!