Having a baby is a life-changing event for any family.
But for parents of children born with heart defects, the first weeks, months, and years of their child's life are especially scary and full of the unknown. According to the CDC, about 40,000 babies each year are born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Around 25 percent of cases are considered critical, meaning the children need surgery to survive.
For Nicole Jameson and her two-year-old son Xander, their battle against CHD has been a long one, but they just keep fighting.
When she was 16 weeks along, Jameson found out that Xander would be born with life-threatening heart defects. Doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy, but she knew in her heart that was the wrong decision for her.
Xander had his first surgery on his stomach at 6 weeks old and open-heart surgery just a few days later.
Since then, he's had many other procedures, including three additional open-heart surgeries. He's truly a fighter!
His family shares his story on the Facebook page Xander's Heart Journey in hopes that it will inspire and help others who have children with CHD.
Xander has made so much progress physically, and he is beginning to catch up developmentally, as well.
Unfortunately, Xander and his family recently found out that he has another hole in his heart. He will have to undergo a fifth open-heart surgery soon.