Diagnosis: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Physician: Dr. Karen Texter
When Allen’s mother Kelly was 38 weeks pregnant, she and her husband Nick decided to have a precautionary fetal echo to check on their unborn baby boy. Less than a few weeks earlier, the Schoenlein family had devastatingly lost their two-month-old niece, Mya, to a congenital heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). “That little angel put it on our hearts that we needed to make sure our son’s heart was healthy,” says Kelly.
On August 25, 2017, the precautionary fetal echo confirmed Allen’s family’s worst nightmare – their baby boy also had HLHS. Because of the wonderful care that Kelly’s brother and sister-in-law and their late niece Mya received at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Kelly and Nick decided they wanted the same medical team for their son. On September 11, 2017, Allen was born.
A few days later, tough little Allen had his first surgery, the Hybrid, and was inpatient for a long eighteen days. In January 2018, Allen had his g-tube placed. Then, in February 2018, Allen had his second surgery, the Glenn, and was able to go home eight days later. Today, Heart Warrior Allen is thriving! He will have his next big surgery, the Fontan procedure sometime between the age of two and three. He loves playing with tractors, animals, swimming, going for walks, splashing in the bathtub, and destroying his sister’s toys.
What does The Heart Center mean to Allen’s family? “Nationwide Children’s means the world to us! We cannot thank everyone involved in Allen’s care enough. Every time we hear him laugh, see him smile, see him reach milestones and eat and drink by mouth – we are grateful. Without the hospital, none of these things would have been possible. While nobody wants to be in a hospital, being in such a caring, friendly family-oriented hospital makes everything better. Everyone at Nationwide Children’s understands that everything and everyone involved with the patient matter,” says Kelly, Allen’s mom.