Mckenna has been diagnosed with the following:

  • Complex congenital (present at birth) heart defects (CHD);

Single ventricle heart, (unbalanced) atrioventricular canal, hypoplastic left ventricle (severe), patent ductus arteriosus, (unbalanced) atrioventricular septal defect, (mild) aortic value regurgitation , interrupted inferior vena cava, double outlet right ventricle, interrupted IVC to her left atrium, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, and a harsh murmur.

As well as:

  • A rare birth defect called Heterotaxy Syndrome

Heterotaxy syndrome causes the organs and the intestines to develop on the opposite side of the body of where they should be located. This happens in the early weeks when the fetus is developing. The organs initially develop on the outside of the fetus’s body, and rotate and go back inside in their normal spot.  Mckenna’s organs are on her right side, when they should be on her left; her organs did not rotate.

Mckenna has a right-sided midline liver, a right-sided stomach and a right-sided spleen.

Cardiologists and other specialists believe Heterotaxy syndrome was the cause for her complex congenital heart defect.

Mckenna’s blood oxygen levels (oxygen saturations) range from 70% – 85% (normal is 100%). She has a lower heart rate, which ranges from 90’s – 110 bpm, when she is resting. 

Upcoming Surgeries

The Glenn Shunt (Major Surgery #3)

A Glenn Shunt procedure is performed to treat a severe form of congenital heart disease, called hypoplastic left ventricle;

These babies are born with a functioning right ventricle and a small, underdeveloped, non-functioning left ventricle.

During this operation, the superior vena cava (the large vein that brings oxygen-poor blood from the head and arms back to the heart) is connected to the right pulmonary artery. Blood from the head and arms passively flows into the pulmonary artery and proceeds to the lungs to receive oxygen.

However, oxygen-poor (blue) blood returning to the heart from the lower body through the inferior vena cava will still mix with oxygen-rich (red) blood in the left heart and travel to the body, resulting in the baby presently showing cyanotic in colour (blue / dusky in colour).

This operation aids to create some of the connections necessary for the final operation, the Fontan.

The Fontan (Major Surgery #4)

The Fontan is the last surgery Mckenna will need. It is a procedure is a palliative surgical procedure used in children with univentricular hearts. It involves diverting the venous blood from the IVC and SVC to the pulmonary arteries without passing through the morphologic right ventricle; meaning the systemic and pulmonary circulations are placed in series with a single functioning ventricle.

Palliative surgical procedure – an operation preformed on an incurable illness, which is justified to lower the severity of the illness and improve the quality of life.

From my heart to yours,

  • d


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