Countless Childhood Dreams Saved
Overcoming Pulmonary Valve Stenosis to be a Gymnast
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On the trampoline, Maddie can do a flip, a split, a cartwheel and several more remarkable tricks. You might be even more impressed after learning that Maddie was born with a heart condition.
“At a 20-week ultrasound, we found out there was something wrong with her heart. Then I started coming to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Center for Advanced Fetal Care every week so it could be monitored,” explains Lauren, Maddie’s mom.
When Maddie was born, she spent a few weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where she could be closely watched because she had pulmonary valve stenosis. Maddie will tell you that means she was born with holes in her heart.
According to Peter Gaskin, MD, of pediatric cardiology, “Pulmonary valve stenosis involves a narrowing on the valve, which means it is hard for blood to pass through a narrow channel to get to the lungs. This can cause children to be short of breath, get tired easily and their heart to fail.”
Lauren remembers that time vividly. “It was scary at first, especially since her arms would turn blue. The team said that was normal and eventually it did become normal.”
Early "Cath" Leads to a Healthy Future
At just a few weeks old, Maddie had her first cardiac catheterization. She would have several more “caths,” as she calls them, and even open heart surgery to make her better.
“Maddie is doing so well now, and at this rate, we won’t have to see her as often, probably just once a year,” adds Dr. Gaskin, who has been a member of the team taking care of Maddie since birth.
“Everyone is really great. I cannot say enough good things,” says Lauren.
So Maddie jumps for joy and her family does too now that she is healthy. She hopes her future will be filled with days teaching gymnastics.
Are you looking for a pediatric specialist? Call the UM Children’s Hospital at 410-328-5887