About Kashton, About our story, and why we started raising money for chd awareness!
Kashton was born with a congenital heart defect, transposition of the great arteries.
Dextro-Transpostion of the Great Arteries (D-TGA) is when the aorta comes off the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery arises from the left ventricle. The aorta then takes unoxygenated blood back to the body, before it can flow to the lungs for oxygen. Due to lack of oxygen, infants born with TGA are often blue or “cyanotic” since all blood delivered to the body has yet to receive the oxygen needed to survive independently.
The operation that Kashton received is called an arterial switch. It is an open heart surgery and the heart is stopped during the surgery. His aorta is cut above the level of the coronary arteries, and the pulmonary artery is cut at the same level. The coronary arteries are removed from the remaining base of the aorta and then reattached to the base of the pulmonary artery. The aorta is then sewn to the base of the pulmonary artery and the pulmonary artery is sewn to the base of the aorta, essentially “switching” the circulation. This is done to allow the aorta to come from the left ventricle and carry oxygenated blood to the body.
Why Allison started The Warrior Walk
I gave birth to a beautiful, determined, and strong little boy in October. My pregnancy was as healthy as could be, and there were no signals that could have pointed us to the fact that he would be born with a Congenital Heart Defect. I was in shock, exhausted, and full of emotion and confusion when the nurse was stimulating him and attempting to bring a pink tone, rather than blue, to his skin. I was forced to stay in bed as a team of specialists in Duluth wheeled my brand new baby away from me to determine what was wrong. As positive as they were, I knew in my heart and stomach that something was bad. Really bad.
Within minutes they were able to determine that he would need to be flown to children’s hospital in Minneapolis to have an arterial switch procedure in order to survive. Upon our arrival, the staff at Children’s educated us, comforted us, and made sure our boy was in healing hands every second of the day.
Aside from the HORRID experience we endured throughout his procedure and recovery, we had the opportunity to experience the comforting touches from companies that have set goals to help care for the families dealing with these negative experiences and tragedies. I want to be able to help those companies with their contributions.
I have decided to make it my personal goal to assist a foundation that is very close to my heart and raise money for future families that will need the care and comfort, as we did.
I understand that several people do not understand the severity of CHD, and until I became a parent to a child with it, neither did I. I hope to bring awareness, educate, and shine a light on all of those who have either fought or lost their tough battle.