Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Diagnosis: Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), Congenital Heart Condition
Brenna was born 6 weeks pre-mature. She was transported from Riverside's NICU to Nationwide Children's Hospital NICU to be treated for PPHN, where she was also diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), a congenital heart condition; Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) a heart defect, and panhypopituitarism, a pituitary gland disorder.
Brenna has had heart surgery, two blood transfusions, and a feeding tube which she required for two years. She spent 71 days in the NICU before being sent home under the care of seven different specialists and therapists. Since her first heart and feeding tube surgeries, Brenna has had eight additional surgeries. Most recent was Chiari decompression surgery. A Chiari malformation is a problem in which a part of the brain at the rear of the skull bulges through a normal opening in the skull where it joins the spinal canal.
Carrie, Brenna’s mom, says “Brenna is by far the strongest person I know and a true fighter. After missing 6 weeks of school, she has been back for 3 weeks and brought nothing but A's home on everything. She is the definition of inspiration.”
Brenna is very artistic and loves music. She loves creating things and decorating things - all of this while singing. She has the biggest heart and is the most loving person! She doesn't understand why she has to take so many medicines every day (especially her shot) but she tells her mom that they can live together forever so they can help each other with their shots.”
What does Nationwide Children's mean to Brenna’s mom?
“I spent a lot of time at (Nationwide) Children's hospital as a child due to being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age eight. I never dreamed I would spend so much time there as an adult. But I have always told everyone "Columbus (Nationwide) Children's Hospital saved my baby! They are amazing!!" I am soooo lucky to live in a city with such an awesome pediatric hospital who has always taken excellent care of my baby, us as parents, and even her sister.”