Aiden’s story began before he even took his first breath. While in utero, a vascular ring or a group of blood vessels formed around his esophagus and trachea due to a rare condition in which his aorta (the main artery in the body) developed on the opposite side of the heart. At only a few days old, the little warrior was diagnosed with another condition, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) – a hole in the bottom part of his heart. The weight of worry settled upon his family as he was admitted to the Nemours Children’s Cardiac Center in Delaware.
Aiden’s condition worsened, pushing him into heart failure. At just five weeks old, he had open-heart surgery, a complex procedure to repair the hole in his heart and alleviate the pressure on his trachea and esophagus.
Surgery day arrived, and Dr. Christian Pizarro, Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, took charge. The operation revealed a surprise: Aiden also had an ASD (atrial septal defect), a hole in the top part of his heart. Dr. Pizarro repaired the heart defects and divided the vascular ring to relieve the pressure on the trachea and esophagus.
During the healing and recovery period, Aiden’s family found a home away from home at Nemours Children’s Hospital. The medical staff treated them with genuine care and compassion, becoming like a second family. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. Slowly, he grew stronger, and his heart began to heal.
Today, Aiden amazes everyone around him. Having the support of his loving mother and younger brother Cooper, has helped Aiden develop into a fun-loving and happy child. Monster trucks and dinosaurs are his favorite companions, he refuses to go anywhere without them.
Though his journey is not without its bumps, Aiden’s future looks bright. Rebecca, Aiden’s mom offers this advice for families in similar situations, “Embrace all the resources that the hospital has to offer and remember that taking care of yourself is crucial. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”