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Meet Nevaeh: February Is American Heart Month

On New Year’s Eve of 2019, Sierra Landman learned she was pregnant with her first child.

“We were so excited,” Landman said. “Then we learned that something wasn’t right with our baby’s heart.”

Nevaeh Landman was born on September 10, 2020 at Madigan Army Medical Center with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she would stay for the next several days.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is when the left side of the heart is not fully developed. It is a rare and serious birth defect. Babies with HLHS need surgery in the first weeks of life. They will have a series of surgeries to redirect blood flow through their heart.

At merely 7 days old, Nevaeh was transported from Madigan to Seattle Children’s, and that same day, she underwent her first surgery.

“Nevaeh was born with one heart ventricle that was trying to do the work of two,” said Dr. Michael McMullan, chief of congenital cardiac surgery at Seattle Children’s, who performed Nevaeh’s surgery. “With the Norwood procedure, we reconstruct the the main artery that leaves the heart and create a connection between the heart and lungs so when the heart squeezes, the one ventricle is able to send blood every direction it needs to go.”

Children who receive the Norwood procedure at Seattle Children’s Heart Center have a 92% survival rate which McMullan says is due in great part to the Single Ventricle Program that focuses specifically on these patients and keeping them safe between hospitalizations and surgeries.

“Once kids make it out of the hospital after their first surgery, they are still at risk,” McMullan said. “That’s why the vigilance of our Single Ventricle team is so essential to these patients’ lives.”

You can read Naveah’s full story at Seattle Children’s On The Pulse.