Transposition of the Great Arteries: LJ's Story

When their unborn baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries, Kristin and Joe turned to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

LJ Jack Rychik, MD, director of CHOP’s Fetal Heart Program, and the program’s multidisciplinary team of experts gave them hope – and a treatment plan that would save their baby’s life.

The Fetal Heart Program team monitored Kristin and Joe's baby throughout the pregnancy and put a plan in place for his delivery and immediate care after birth. LJ was born in CHOP's Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the world’s first birthing unit within a pediatric hospital dedicated to healthy mothers carrying babies with life-threatening birth defects like transposition of the great arteries (TGA).

A few hours after birth, LJ had a catheterization procedure called a balloon atrial septostomy, which stabilized him prior to open heart surgery. The surgery, called the arterial switch, was performed two days later by pediatric heart surgeon Christopher E. Mascio, MD.

Now 6 months old, LJ is “the happiest baby I’ve ever met,” says his dad.

Originally published February 2015

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