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Dallas Doctors Helping Baby With Half A Heart

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
Stephanie is an Emmy Award winning veteran reporter for CBS 11 N...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A 6-month-old North Texas baby is back at home just days after open-heart surgery. Aaron Torres will need one more operation to correct a heart defect that, if left untreated, he would not survive. “I do all I can,” said Stephanie Torres, the baby’s mother. “The doctors obviously do all they can. Hope that we do good.”

Aaron has hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Dr. Eric Mendeloff is a pediatric cardiac surgeon at Medical City Dallas, and is performing procedures to help correct Aaron’s condition. “The left ventricle, which in you and I is the ventricle that pumps blood throughout our entire body, didn’t develop at all,” Dr. Mendeloff explained.

Stephanie learned about her son’s heart defect when she was five months pregnant. Doctors can detect it during a regular sonogram.

Dr. Mendeloff said that doctors cannot simply give these patients a left ventricle, so they have to do three surgical procedures. “We have to do a series of operations in the first three years of life to reconstruct blood vessels and re-route blood flow, so they can survive with that very unusual anatomy,” Dr. Mendeloff said.

According to Stephanie, her baby is meeting all of his early childhood growth goals, and he is a good eater. “He plays a lot,” Stephanie said. “He’s a playful baby.”

It is not known how long Aaron and other patients can survive after surgery. Dr. Mendeloff said that there is no nationwide repository for that information.

Aaron is scheduled to have his third and final surgery to address the issue when he is 3 years old.

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