Ashlea Konecny and
her husband, Paul, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House® in Kansas
City for a total of three months as their baby boy, Caden fought for his life.
The Konecny family’s
adventure began in January 2007, after doctors discovered the heart defect and
transferred him to Kansas City for further testing and treatment.
The Konecny’s spent a
week staying at the House in Kansas City while doctors determined the extent of
two-month-old Caden’s heart defect. He
was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus Type II, an extremely rare type of
Congenital Heart Defect. Caden had a
15mm hole between the ventricles in his heart and the only thing that could
save his life was open-heart surgery.
Caden spent the next
month getting as healthy as possible before his surgery. He was just three months old when the doctors
successfully performed the open-heart surgery to repair the “trunk” of the
Truncus Arteriosus as well as the hole between his ventricles. A few days after his surgery, Caden crashed
and the doctors called a “code blue.”
After Caden was stabilized, the Konecny’s spent another three weeks at
the House while Caden recovered.
Caden released from
the hospital, only to return two days later.
He was in congestive heart failure again and doctors soon found out that
when Caden crashed after his first surgery, he had ripped the hole back open to
Caden was five months
old when he underwent his second open-heart surgery. His small, weak body could not handle the
second surgery and the next morning, his heart stopped beating again. The doctors performed CPR on him for about an
hour before they decided to put him on the ECMO machine, which functioned as an