About Friends 4 Heart


“Friends 4 Heart,” a non-profit charity organization, was established in celebration of Jake Price, a Flower Mound, Texas boy who is living with the effects of a congenital heart defect. Jake is currently seventeen years old. But at the tender age of two days, Jake was diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta – a pinch or narrowing of the aorta (the large blood vessel that branches off the heart and delivers oxygen-rich blood to the body), and stenosis of two major heart valves – the narrowing of heart valves which obstruct blood flow from the heart. Since coarctation of the aorta causes the heart to pump harder in order to force blood through the narrow part of the aorta, the tiny baby boy underwent a four hour surgery to repair the condition. Jake underwent another successful heart surgery in early 2010 at Medical City Children’s Hospital to repair his heart valves. While he is doing fine today, it is understood that Jake may eventually need to have another heart surgery in the future to repair or replace the two narrowed heart valves.

To honor Jake and his courage, “Friends 4 Heart” was formed with the mission to raise funds to benefit the research of, treatment of and support of children with congenital heart defects. The desire is to help change children’s lives.

Since then…..F4H has become friends with another child with congenital heart defects.

Meet Hudson Harville.

Hudson Harville is 6 years old and just graduated from Kindergarten. He looks like every other little boy, except the open-heart surgery scar on his chest. When Hudson’s mom was 14 weeks pregnant, the sonogram saw a “shadow” on Hudson’s heart. Directly, she was sent to pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Jane Kao, at Medical City Children’s Hospital for a fetal ultrasound. They were able to diagnose Hudson’s heart condition in-utero as Hypoplastic Right heart syndrome (HRHS) and Tricuspid Atresia. In a “simpler term” he was diagnosed without the right side of his heart fully developed or with “half a heart”.

This complex congenital heart defect would begin a journey that has been made possible to navigate by the staff of nurses, physician’s, and healthcare professionals at Medical City Children’s Hospital and the Congenital Heart Surgery Unit staff. They have a true passion and commitment to the lives of the children they care for as well as the entire family.

Although Hudson’s heart will never be repaired to a normal functioning heart, there are a series of three open-heart operations that have allowed his heart to perform without the right side. The first surgery, the BT Shunt, was when he was 4 weeks old. As complex as that procedure was, he was back home after surgery 8 days later. At 12 weeks old, the 2nd operation, the Glenn Shunt was performed. With each operation,  a “pinker” healthier baby started to emerge. With HRHS, the oxygen rich blood mixes with the un-oxygenated blood. Therefore, his oxygen levels would range from the high 60’s to the upper 70’s. After this operation, life became more stable since the The Fontan wouldn’t occur until he was closer to 3 years old.

Hudson underwent The Fontan Surgery at 3 years old. This procedure put more stress on his lungs, and he was in the hospital for 6 weeks waiting for his body to regulate to its new oxygen and blood flowing entirely from the left side of the heart. His body adapted and healed and today he is a healthy, strong, active little boy.

Although Hudson’s start was more difficult than most, he is truly optimistic for the future. The technology and resources that are available through your generous donations have made it possible for the babies with Congenital Heart Defects to not only survive but to live the most productive, fulfilled lives with longer life-spans than ever before!

 

Congenital Heart Defect Facts: Approximately 1 million Americans have a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). CHDs generally begin before birth, with coarctation of the aorta accounting for 5 – 10% of all CHD cases (mayoclinic.com). According to the American Heart Association, about 40,000 infants (1 out of 125) are born with heart defects each year in the United States, with at least one-half million children having some form of cardiac problem. There are 35 known congenital heart defects.