Colorado Baby Girl Born With Multiple Heart Defects Has A Whole New Life After Transplant

Caiya Jackson and Morgan Brown were on top of the world when they learned they were expecting a baby. The engaged couple's world was turned upside down, however, when they learned some alarming details about their baby's development at their 20-week doctor's appointment.
Doctors explained to Caiya and Morgan that their baby's heart had developed abnormally. The baby was diagnosed with hypoplastic right ventricle, which meant the side ventricle of the heart was underdeveloped. They also diagnosed the baby with atrioventricular valve regurgitation, a leaking heart valve allowing blood to flow backward into the heart instead of pumping out. Finally, they noted heterotaxy, which means organs were developing on the wrong side of her body.

"I was terrified," Caiya said.

"I had this like impending fear that she wasn't going to make it."

Their little girl, Eila, was born July 8, 2020, at a Salt Lake City hospital. At 6 days old, she had open-heart surgery. "She was having a really hard time breathing," Caiya noted.

They were told Eila's heart couldn't be fixed. She needed a transplant, so the couple turned to Children's Hospital Colorado. On December 5, Eila received her donor heart.

"Out of that tragedy can come something really beautiful for another patient," said Melanie Everitt, medical director of Pediatric Heart Transplant at Children’s Colorado.

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