Survivor Spotlight: Owen Harris

Meet Owen Harris. Shortly after little Owen was born, their doctor told his family he had a very loud heart murmur and that they needed to do an EKG right away.  The doctor also said she would be consulting with a pediatric cardiologist from Sioux Falls.  A few days later, Owen’s parents met with the pediatric cardiologist and found out that Owen had bicuspid aortic stenosis. 

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The plan was to watch him month by month and treat it with an angioplasty procedure. However, on June 12th Owen had a follow up appointment and he was sent immediately to the Children’s hospital in Omaha, NE. Owen’s aortic valve was narrowing and restricting blood flow.  Five days later, Owen had open heart bypass surgery to repair his aortic valve.  The following September, Owen was referred to a neurosurgeon for craniosynostosis but before he would do the surgery he wanted an okay from his cardiologist.

During his checkup with his cardiologist they found narrowing starting in his heart again caused by scar tissue. He was cleared for his surgery but would need to be checked monthly to watch his heart. In January Owen and his family got the news that the narrowing in his aortic valve had progressed and he would need a 2nd open heart surgery.

On February 3, 2015 Owen had his 2nd open heart surgery. They repaired his heart this time by using a donor valve.

Owen has recovered with flying colors. He is back on track and doing extremely well – living the life of a toddler! He will need to be monitored throughout his life, and possibly have more surgeries when he is in his teens or early 20's.

The Harris family credits all the research that has been done to diagnose and treat conditions such as Owen’s.  Amy and Scott hope that by sharing Owen’s story of treatment and survival, other parents will find hope and that early diagnosis of congenital heart defects can save young lives. 

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