This is a story of two siblings – two beating hearts – that need medical intervention by Oklahoma doctors using lifesaving blood.
“He’s just full of joy,” said Christina DeShaw.
And, you can see it in her 8-month-old son’s big bright eyes.
However, Miles was still in the womb when his family realized he suffered the same rare heart condition his sister also has.
“Unfortunately, we got the news that he was also going to have hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which was very devastating having been through this once before with our daughter, Ava,” DeShaw said.
Doctor Harold Burkhart is one of the country’s leading surgeons to perform a groundbreaking procedure using cells from umbilical cord blood injected right into the baby’s heart.
“It’s a big deal, because there have not been any studies like this in the world to where you inject cells in the muscle of a baby with congenital heart disease in hopes that will make that muscle stronger,” Burkhart said.
Burkhart has had success with Miles’ sister and now with Miles, but it is a long road.
Babies with the condition undergo a series of three surgeries.
Miles just had his second one.
“So, we have to figure out, through a series of operations, how that baby can live long-term with one pumping chamber doing the work of two pumping chambers,” Burkhart said.
They are hoping umbilical cord blood will help do that, prolonging the lives of children born with the disorder and decreasing their chances of needing a heart transplant in the future and, for the family, not one but two little beating hearts.
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BSc (Hons) Microbiology
Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.