Welcome to Alana's Page
Before Becoming A Heart Family
Alana and her twin brother Elias were born on August 14th, 2018 in Las Vegas. Under the amazing care of Dr. Bohman at Desert Perinatal, the babies were delivered by scheduled c-section at 38 weeks along. Elias was delivered first weighing in at 6 pounds 12 ounces, followed by Alana at a strong 9 pounds 2 oz. Born with a heart murmur, Alana had an echo and EKG before leaving the hospital and both babies were sent home healthy without any complications. Going home two days after delivering healthy, full term twins who didn't even need the NICU felt like winning the lottery! The new babies were joyfully greeted at home by their big sisters, ages 2 and 4.
The Journey Began
On November 12th, 2018 we had an appointment with Dr. Rollins at the Children's Heart Center to follow up with Alana's heart murmur. I went into this appointment laughing with the nurses and proudly showing off our new twins. I had no idea we were entering the most difficult season of our lives. While Elias checked out heart healthy, Dr. Rollins discovered Alana had an abnormal mitral valve which was leaking and reguritating blood into the upper chamber of her heart. He said, "She's going to need this fixed" and I couldn't even comprehend what that meant. Alana had no symtoms visible to me at that time, except her growth had slowed down. Her brother who was born much smaller than her had started to pass her up but we assumed he was a "big boy" and she was just petite. She never had any trouble breathing, was never sweaty, and just didn't have any of the typical heart related symptoms that would have cued me in something was wrong. I left this appointment having learned Alana would be a cardiac patient for life and would eventually need open heart surgery to repair her mitral valve but had no timeline as to when. She was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization 3 days later where we would learn exactly how her heart was functioning.
Our Heart Warrior
On November 15th, 2018 at only 3 months old, Alana's cath revealed in addition to her abnormal mitral valve, she also had a very rare congenital heart defect. Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) occurs in 1 in 300,000 babies and cannot be detected in utero. 80% of babies with this defect who are left untreated will pass away before their first birthday. We were immediately admitted into the PICU and Alana was scheduled for open heart surgery the following morning. Alana's surgery lasted 8 agonizing hours and she spent 5 hours on bypass. She spent 12 days in the hospital, went home for a week, and then was readmitted for another 4 days for pericardial effusion. Alana is home now with her ALCAPA repaired and her mitral valve continues to improve! Her doctors are incredibly happy with her recovery and progress. We are forever grateful to her extraordinary surgeon Dr. Ciccolo, Dr. Rollins, their amazing teams, along with the incredible nurses in the PICU for the oustanding care provided to Alana as well as our entire family. We don't know what will come next on Alana's journery but we ask for your support in honor of our heart warrior as well as so many others and their families. Thank you for reading Alana's story!
One Heart at a Time
Established in 2001, Children's Heart Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to improving the quality of life for children and families affected by a heart condition through emotional, educational and financial support. We have several programs in place designed to meet the changing needs of a heart family as they pass through difference stages of treatment.
Together We can Make a Difference
Your gift helps us provide much needed services to our heart children and their families.
- $25 pays for gas to and from doctor's visits
- $50 supplies a heart family with a weeks worth of groceries
- $100 pays for a month of prescriptions for a heart child
- $500 helps a heart family in need with rent or utility bills
- $1000 sends one heart child to Camp Mend-a-Heart
We appreciate you joining us and helping the littlest of hearts. Thank you for your BIG heart!
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Gifts to Children’s Heart Foundation are tax deductible as provided by law. CHF is a 501(c)3 organization (tax ID# is 88-0405506). A copy of the foundation’s 501(c)(3) determination letter is available upon request.
Children’s Heart Foundation was established in 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada with the mission of committing to making a difference in the lives of heart families through emotional, educational and financial support to inspire a higher quality of life for all. For more information contact us at (702) 967-3522 or www.chfn.org. Donations may be tax-deductible pursuant to the provisions of section 170.c. of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. 170.c
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