Nearly a year after being born with a heart defect, Shaylynn Huss is doing well.
Baby Shaylynn was born with hypoplastic right heart syndrome and had to have open heart surgery when she was just three days old.
Because of Shaylynn’s condition, she and her parents, Kam and Madaline Huss, stayed in Vancouver for months, with Kam and Madaline staying at Ronald McDonald House.
Though Shaylynn now appears to be in good health, less than two weeks after Castlegar News first reported on her initial surgery, she suffered a stroke and cardiac arrest. Her parents were told that she might no make it.
“It was actually a really scary situtation,” said Madaline.
Only one month old, Shaylynn needed another surgery, but doctors didn’t feel she’d be able to survive it. They needed Shaylynn to make it another 6-8 weeks before it would be safe to perform the necessary operation.
With her parents by her side, Shaylynn made it to her surgery and was eventually allowed to return home to the Kootenays.
No one would have ever guessed that Shaylynn had been so close to death as she bounced around at a local coffee shop on Tuesday afternoon.
“She’s doing great,” said Madeline.
The only sign that something might be amiss was Shaylynn’s reaction to being photographed. She seemed a little frightened having a stranger point a camera at her, even with mom and dad beside her.
This prompted Kam to share a story about Shaylynn staying with her grandmother who works as a nurse. Seeing grandma in her scrubs upset Shaylynn and it took her some time to accept this was still her grandmother. She’s not a big fan of hospitals or anything to do with them.
Shaylynn will always need to be seen by cardiac specialists as her heart condition will need to be monitored closely as she grows. The family will need to continue making trips to Vancouver or Kelowna where there is a full cardiac centre. So far, her growth and development haven’t been affected by her illness and Madaline proudly reports that she is hitting all her milestones.
She’s energetic, loves to dance, can nearly walk, and knows a handful of words already.
Days before her first birthday she’ll have a checkup in Kelowna, just to make sure that her heart is looking good.
Kam and Madaline would like to thank everyone who has supported them with thoughts and prayers, and with donations to help the family with expenses.
“It’s through family and the support of them that she’s able to be here with us,” said Kam.