Give a Kid a Miracle: Open Heart Surgery Saves Newborn


A local family depends on Arkansas Children’s Northwest to keep their three boys strong and healthy.  

In this week’s “Give Kids a Miracle” their journey started before the hospital was built — and battling with their first son’s heart defect in Little Rock.

Mother of the patient Mary Julian Young said, “we didn’t know to be as scared as we should have been.”

Just 36 hours after giving birth for her first time, Young got a phone call that changed her family’s life.

Dr. Angtuaco at children’s hospital letting me know he’s got Tetralogy of Fallot  [four congenital defects] he’s got a VSD … we’ve got a long road ahead of us,” said Young.

She learned her son, Robert, would need to have open heart surgery.  At 42 days old, he had the procedure at Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock.

“It’s not something I ever thought I’d go through, but children’s they walked us through it every step of the way,” said Young.

Time was of the essence for baby Robert and the Youngs patiently awaited the outcome of his surgery.

“They said we will update you every 60 minutes like clockwork and they did,” said Young.

It took about eight to nine hours until he was finally out of surgery. and nine days later he was released from the hospital. 

Now, years later Robert is doing much of what a normal six-year-old boy would be doing.

“He loves to be a boy. He loves outdoors, he loves to swim, he loves to waterski,” said the mom.

She waits to see what heart repairs he’ll need in the future.

“He’s got this disease, but it’s not defining who he is,” said Young.

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