Baby Born With Half a Heart Still Fighting for Life After Four Open-Heart Surgeries

International   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Apr 1, 2015   |   4:18PM   |   Washington, DC

In 2013, Jack Stevens was born with a rare condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), which causes the left lower chamber of the heart to not develop properly. However, Jack is a fighter is now 15-months-old. During his short life, he’s already had nine operations, suffered a stroke and been resuscitated three times. Additionally, four of his nine operations have been open heart surgeries.

Jack’s father, Chris Stevens, told the Daily Mail more about Jack’s journey.


He said, “He’s been through so much in such a short space of time but he’s doing brilliantly. We knew about his condition before he was born and he spent the first five months of his life in hospital. He had to have open heart surgery when he was just one week old and he’s had three more since. Jack was only 4 pounds 4 ounces when he was born and the condition has slowed his development. It was really difficult watching him lying in his hospital bed for so long surrounded by machines and tubes. But we knew it was best for him and he’s battled through everything — he’s a real fighter.”



He continued, “It’s a lifelong condition so he will need a transplant at some point in his life but surgeons don’t know when yet. He’ll never be able to do any real physical activity. Jack had to be given up to 12 different medications up to four times a day but he only needs three different medications via a syringe at the moment. He’s also had his feeding tube removed for the very first time last month which is fantastic. He’s almost walking now and he mumbles all the time so hopefully he’ll say his first word soon. We’re both so proud of him — he’s a very inspirational boy.”

According to the National Institute of Health, in the United States and Canada 1500 to 2000 infants (or 0.016%-0.036% of live births) are born with HLHS each year. Research finds that HLHS is extremely rare but it does have a high mortality rate, accounting for approximately 23% of neonatal deaths. The condition can be detected on a fetal echocardiography, although in many cases it isn’t diagnosed until after birth because the unborn child appears to be developing normally.

As LifeNews previously reported, in 2012 Scarlett Crowther was born with the same condition as Jack She may not have made it at all had her mom decided to have an abortion, but Scarlett’s mother rejected that idea. Scarlett was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the defect but went through two successful heart operations, with one of them coming at five days after birth. Now mother and baby are doing much better, with her mother Rebecca Turner calling her a “little fighter.”

“When I hold her now I just can’t believe how healthy and happy she is. She’s my miracle baby,” Turner said.