ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Nearly 40,000 babies are born with heart defects every year in this country. An Albany mother wants you to know about her child's heart defect.
Her son was born with only half a heart, the left side is missing. He's already had two heart surgeries and faces years of medical challenges.
When an ultrasound showed a heart defect in Wendy Kleckley's unborn baby, she was given three options: terminate the pregnancy, give birth to her son and take him home to die, or have doctors perform surgeries which will give her baby the chance to live. For her, the choice was easy.
It was supposed to be a joyous day. Wendy Kleckley, a soon to be mom, was about to learn if the baby she was carrying was a boy or a girl. "I was excited," she said, "and just to hear, oh he's going to be a boy, 'cause that's what I had always wanted, and then to hear he had a heart defect, it was devastating."
Little Jordan Lee's heart didn't properly form in utero. He has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which basically means the left side of his heart didn't properly develop.
Wendy said, "Immediately, I was devastated. There was many days of laying in bed and worrying, would I even be able to bring him home?"
Five days after he was born, Jordan had open heart surgery. At 24 days, he had another. And on the day he turns five month's old, he'll have his third.
"Twenty years ago, there was not a cure or even anything to do for these children, it was fatal, 100%."
But those surgeries prolong Jordan's life, and allow his heart to function more efficiently. His mother said, "With technology like it is, I honestly feel like, hopefully he'll outlive me."But she's now counting every single blessing she has... and spoiling Jordan and herself with hugs and kisses.
She said, "Never take a second for granted. It's made me realize that with my family, friends and especially with him."
And she wants others to know, heart defects can happen, but they don't always mean life is over. "We're very very proud of him and just blessed everyday."
Blessed to have another day with Jordan, and prayerful that these surgeries will help heal her little boy's broken heart.
Jordan is otherwise very healthy. His mom keeps him home and away from germs as best she can.He'll have another surgery on the first of March and we hope to update you on his status shortly thereafter.
Wendy Kleckley advocates prenatal care. Her ultrasound alerted her to her baby's heart problem.
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