Meet the Miracles: Emma

Emma was born in January of 2005 and immediately her parents knew something was wrong. Emma was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children for further testing, which is where doctors discovered that she had multiple heart defects.

The primary defect is called Transposition of the Great Vessels. Emma’s pulmonary artery and aorta were switched and she was not receiving oxygen-rich blood; her heart circulated oxygen-depleted blood through her body.

To correct the problems, Emma would require multiple open-heart surgeries over a number of years. At one week old, Emma had her first heart surgery – her heart was the size of her tiny fist. At six months old, she underwent her second surgery, which began the process of redirecting blood flow through her heart.

In June 2008, at 3 ½ years old, Emma had her third corrective surgery. This was to be Emma’s last surgery for a number of years but there were complications during the procedure and in recovery. One major complication doctors discovered was that Emma’s body began rejecting Heparin. Blood tests showed that Emma has a blood rare condition called Heparin Induced Thrombocytopenia which has only been found in a handful of children. It was also discovered that Emma had an aortic tear which had to be repaired with a fourth heart surgery just four weeks after her last procedure.

After 37 days in the hospital Emma was finally well enough to go home with her parents, Chuck and Shannon along with younger brother Brandon.

In January 2018, Emma had her latest operation and continues to defy the odds, serving as a blessing to all who know her. Thanks to the staff at Arnold Palmer Hospital and the support of the Children’s Miracle Network, Emma has the world at her fingertips.

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