Casper is home to one extraordinary little boy. Ezekiel was born with a congenital heart defect - from birth, he has had a single ventricle heart. A normal heart has 4 chambers: an upper, lower, left and right. Ezekiel was born with only one chamber along with dextrocardia, meaning his heart is on the opposite side like a mirrored image of ours, making his condition very rare and severe. He was missing the entire dividing wall between his left and right ventricles. This meant he could not get an adequate amount of oxygen to his body.
hero_image_alt_text===little boy and mom
thumbnail_alt_text===little boy and mom
He had his first open-heart surgery at just four days old, his second at six months old, and his last at four years old. He has since had many other surgeries, about 15 in total. It is so vital to kiddos like Ezekiel that research continues for them. We are thankful that the American Heart Association is advocating for increased researching funding so that kids like Ezekiel can live long, healthy lives!
There is still so much to be found out about many of the heart conditions like his. Ezekiel's family had the opportunity to go to Denver this summer to learn about what all they have found and what the future holds. You see, when Ezekiel was born, his parents were told that he probably wouldn't live very long. They were not even sure he would be strong enough to make it through surgery. Now what the Cardiologists are saying is "what CAN'T this kid do?”
So much progress comes because of the advocacy and fundraising work of the American Heart Association! Programs like Jump Rope for Heart not only promote good heart health, but raise awareness about the heart conditions of special kids like Ezekiel. In Wyoming, we need advocates to help us raise awareness and pass heart-healthy policies for all of Wyoming's kids! Please take a moment to join the American Heart Association You're The Cure advocacy network and help us create a healthier Wyoming for all!
Do you want to share your heart or stroke survivor story? We want to hear from you. Email Allison.Hogue@heart.org.
The Hugus Family: Corban, Ryan, Ezekial and Kimarie