The day before I went back to work, we were told that our 5 year old may have a problem with his heart valves as a murmur was confirmed at his well-child exam. We were sent for further testing and then onto a pediatric cardiologist this past Tuesday. Turns out that his heart murmur was a functional murmur... meaning nothing to worry about. Incidentally, they believe they found a small hole in either the septum of his heart or in the foramen ovale. These types of defects are typically found right after birth. Usually the child turns blue when he/she cries or there is a failure to thrive. Spencer showed none of these qualities after birth or even now for that matter. This type of defect can not be heard, but only seen on ultrasound. If left untreated, the heart muscle becomes damaged and there is a risk of stroke. We are currently waiting for a phone call to see when the next test will be scheduled. This will be a trans-esophageal echo under general anesthesia performed by the cardiologist in Kansas City. If he feels this defect can be fixed, they will proceed immediately with a heart cath to repair the area. Right now, he is not in any danger and his heart muscle does not appear to be damaged.
When the cardiologist was taking family history, he asked Spencer if he had any brothers or sisters. This was the first time Spencer has been asked this question and he didn't know how to answer. He looked at me for guidance and started to shake his head no.... only for me to reply yes. The cardiologist looked confused until I started to explain about Palmer. There was a recognition and tears in his eyes when I mentioned heart valve donation. One child with perfect valves. Another with a heart defect. A reminder that I have not only one, but two children with willful hearts.