Heart surgery

Texas baby undergoes open-heart surgery after birth

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A family in central Texas credits their faith and the doctors at Dell Children’s Comprehensive Fetal Care Center with saving the life of their newborn baby.

The center is designed for mothers whose babies have been diagnosed with complex fetal or congenital disease. It offers immediate and specialized treatment and care after birth.

During Julie Hyde’s pregnancy, her son Blake was diagnosed with a rare complex heart defect called Abnormal Total Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a baby with TAPVR, oxygen-rich blood does not return from the lungs to the left atrium. Instead, oxygen-rich blood returns to the right side of the heart. Here, oxygen-rich blood mixes with oxygen-poor blood. Doctors said this caused the baby to get less oxygen than the body needed.

Being born with this condition, within three hours of birth, Blake was on the operating table for open-heart surgery. Even though the family knew this might be their reality, it didn’t make it any easier.

“We knew even if it was a small chance he had, we were going to give it to him,” Julie said. “We felt really defeated. We thought maybe we were going to say goodbye to him, and he might not come back to us.

  • Baby Blake with his brothers.  (Courtesy of the Hyde family)
  • Courtesy of the Hyde family
  • Blake Hyde undergoes open-heart surgery after birth.  (Courtesy of the Hyde family)

Dr. Charles Fraser, chief of pediatric and congenital heart surgery at the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease and the Dell Children’s Pediatric Cardiac Care Team, quickly prepared to perform Blake’s emergency heart surgery.

“You won’t find a more complicated problem than a newborn,” Fraser explained. “He needed heart surgery within hours of the birth. If he had to be transported to another hospital, we wouldn’t have a survivor. His lungs were congested, and even carrying him across town, he wouldn’t have survived.

The Hydes said they could not have obtained the immediate specialist treatment after Blake’s birth where they live. After his operation, they planned a stay of several months. However, 35 days later, he was released and sent to Ronald McDonald House. Blake’s family is now set to leave next week, reuniting Blake with his brothers.

“He’s eating well and working on putting on weight, which takes a little longer,” Julie said. “He’s a little warrior, and he proves us all wrong, that’s for sure. Our baby, I believe, is a miracle.