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This fundraiser ended on 01/17/14

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Carter Packman is fighting for his life, let's help him with his battle against this rare congenital heart defect by showing your support!

Our Miracle Baby

After struggling to conceive we finally received the news we were waiting for- that we were pregnant with our first child! The fertility doctor soon told us to prepare for a miscarriage however, and repeated blood tests confirmed that the fetus was not stable. As we tried to prepare ourselves for the worst, we went to the doctor's office Monday morning and found out that somehow, over the course of a weekend, the blood test results were on the upswing. Our baby was hanging on! Nine months later our miracle baby, Carter Bentley Packman, was born healthy and happy.

Over the course of the next couple months however, he began to develop increased respiratory symptoms including rapid breathing and a constant cough. After repeated visits to his pediatrician, a chest x-ray was ordered to rule out pneumonia. Although it was not pneumonia the radiologist felt he had an enlarged heart for his age, and we were referred to a cardiologist for precautionary measures. Despite this suggestion, we were certain that he just had asthma. Nothing could prepare us for the news we were about to receive.

At that appointment we found out that our five-month old baby was born with a rare congenital heart defect (CHD) known as a double inlet left ventricle (DILV) as well as transposition of the great arteries (TGA). DILV is a complex condition that affects only 5 in every 100,000 babies. This condition is a single ventricle defect which means that the chambers on the left side of his heart did not develop correctly, causing there to be one chamber instead of two. Because of this, both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood mix before being sent to his muscles, tissues and organs. With the presence of TGA, where the aorta and pulmonary artery are switched, even less oxygen is available to meet the body's demands. While surgeons can perform procedures to increase the amount of oxygen his body receives, they will never actually be able to repair the chamber in his heart.

Carter will need at least two heart surgeries, one within the next month and one when he is between 2 and 5 years of age. Even after these procedures however, our son faces an uphill battle. He will not only require daily medication and regular heart monitoring but will also have to live with decreased physical capabilities and an increased risk of developmental delays, pneumonia, congestive heart failure and more.

While we believe that our miracle baby will once again survive these obstacles, we need to ensure that he receives the best possible care in the years to come, and we will do everything we can for our little angel. We're tremendously grateful and humbled by all of the support and prayers that have been sent our way thus far. Please keep Carter in your prayers and help us give him the full life that he deserves.

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