COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-One out of a hundred children is born with a heart defect, leaving parents worried about their child’s next moments instead of years.
However, one Columbus family is looking forward to the future, thanks to a new heart procedure that saved their son’s life.
Janet and Chris Marsh were excited when they found out they were having a little boy. However, during Janet’s pregnancy the couple learned he would be born with a heart defect.
“He was born with tetralogy of fallot which basically means there is something that is wrong with his pulmonary artery and his was backwards. His pulmonary was pumping to his body and his aorta was pumping to his lungs. He had a hole in his heart they said the size of a nickel,” says Chris Marsh.
Ethan was also born with a hole in his heart, the size of a nickel, and only one kidney.
“About a month after he was born they did the first surgery and they put a PA band on his heart,” says Marsh.
The surgery was successful but doctors knew it wouldn’t be his last.
Heart surgeon, Doctor Jorge Salazar, at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson decided at age two Ethan was strong enough fro his second procedure.
“In particular he had a hole inside of his heart that needed to be closed, he had a blockage to the blood flow to his lungs and he actually needed a new valve,” says Dr. Jorge Salazar.
On January 9, Ethan received a new valve. A valve that not only gave him a longer life, but was named after the Marsh’s favorite college sports team. The Mississippi State Bulldawgs.
“Because we put a cow valve into Ethan and because of course the cow bells we all decided that we were going to call it the bulldawg operation,” says Dr. Salazar.
For huge MSU fans like the Marsh family, the news added to the excitement.
“I breathe, I eat it, I sleep it. Well I have been a Mississippi State fan all my life. Now, she is from Oklahoma, okay, and she is kind of been adopted in Mississippi State fan,” says Marsh.
Dr. Salazar believes it’s small accomplishments like these that make a big impact.
“We all here at the Children’s hospital feel very lucky to be able to help children like Ethan. We feel privileged to be able to work with these children and these families to bring hope where there was thought to be none,” says Dr. Salazar.
Chris and Janet say this journey hasn’t been easy but they know it wouldn’t be possible without their faith.
“He is a miracle to be here because he wasn’t suppose to be. We put our hope in the Lord and our faith in Him because without him and without the support of our family we wouldn’t been able to do it,” says Marsh.
As the Marsh family looks forward to the future they only hope Ethan’s story will be used as a testimony for other families.
Doctors say the Bulldawg procedure should be Ethan’s final surgery.