Three-week-old Norah Mae Boss is eating, growing and changing. And at first glance, you would never expect to learn that just two weeks ago, she underwent a serious heart surgery to correct a transposition of her arteries.
“Half way through my pregnancy, we found out that Norah had a heart issue of some sort,” said Jennifer Boss, Norah’s mom. “Her aorta and pulmonary arteries were switched, not allowing oxygen-rich blood to the rest of her body. We were told she would need to go into surgery shortly after being born.”
At just 6 lbs. 13 oz. and at the young age of 6 days old, Norah underwent surgery, from which was expected to recover almost immediately.
“When she was born her finger tips and toes were black and blue from lack of oxygen,” said Todd Boss, Norah’s father. “We got used to seeing her this way after a couple days, but knew that whatever was causing this needed to be corrected right away.”
That’s where Dr. Marcus Haw, division chief for cardiothoracic surgery at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and the Congenital Heart Center team come into the picture. This is the team that would help get Norah’s heart functioning properly.
Just two weeks after surgery, her parents say that everything is going wonderfully at home and Norah is recovering more quickly than they could have ever expected.
“She is just doing fantastic,” Jennifer said. “She was doing well the minute she came out of surgery… her numbers were great and color started improving immediately. The first thing we noticed was that her fingertips and toes were now pink like they should be. We knew right away that the surgery had corrected what was wrong with her heart, and were so very thankful.”
Jennifer and Todd explained that when they first found out about Norah’s condition, they were extremely frightened. They didn’t know what to expect, and had no idea what the success rate on a surgery such as this was like. But after meeting with a few doctors, and doing a little research on their own, they found reassurance in discovering that the odds were in Norah’s favor, and that she was under excellent care.
“We are so fortunate to have Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital here in West Michigan,” they said. “This place is an amazing resource for our community and is full of positive people who are here to help. We cannot express our thanks to Dr. Haw and his team… they are simply amazing!”
Todd and Jennifer are told their little Norah will grow up healthy and strong, and should be able to do what all other kids do without any limitations in her activity or growth.
“Norah has done really well from undergoing such a complex neonatal surgery at such a young age,” Dr. Haw said. “Transposition of the great arteries is a major neonatal cardiac surgery and although Norah will need lifelong follow-up in the congenital heart center, she should be able to have a full and active life with relatively few limitations.”