Baby Shaylynn Huss has seen the world for less than a month but has already been through so much. Open heart surgery and intensive hospital care have been the centre of life for a Castlegar family and their little girl.
Shaylynn was born Feb. 22 in Vancouver with several heart defects.
When her mother, Madaline Huss, had her 20-week ultrasound, doctors knew something wasn’t quite right. Grandmother Ruby Perepolkin said they knew it was her heart and since Jan. 12, the family has been staying in Vancouver for specialized treatments.
“I’ve been staying with [Madaline] but I have to go back to work. I can’t stay here forever.”
Perepolkin said people have been approaching her, asking how they can help. Now they have a secure way to help out, via a newly created account at Kootenay Savings.
“It’s been hard, with Madaline having to stay down [in Vancouver] without her husband. He’s in Castlegar looking for work right now,” Perepolkin said. “It’s pretty hard being in two places at once. He came down for the baby’s birth and then had to go back for a job interview.”
Any money donated to the family will go towards living and medical expenses.
Baby Shaylynn’s condition is rare, and it’s coupled with several complications.
Shaylynn’s nurse wrote a short letter to describe her condition and what she’s been through.
“Approximately one in 100 babies are born with some form of congenital heart defect, ranging in severity from conditions requiring medical assessment without the need for intervention to more severe forms requiring multiple open heart surgeries or heart transplantation.
“Shaylynn was born with a heart defect that is both severe and unusual and required her to undergo open heart surgery at just three days of age. The hope is that this surgery will enable her to grow and develop until her next heart surgery, which is expected to occur within the first few months of life.
“She will require at least one additional surgery before she starts kindergarten. Shaylynn will need close medical follow up from the BC Children’s cardiology team throughout her childhood.”
The open heart surgery addressed the baby’s hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a condition in which the right atrium and right ventricle are underdeveloped.
Perepolkin said Shaylynn is doing well and despite needing to spend more time in the hospital, is expected to recover. The family is grateful to all those who have worked hard to assist their new addition.
A Facebook page has been setup to document Shaylynn and the family’s journey as well as gather support for this little girl: facebook.com/iheartbabyshay.