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Hunter's Story

Friday, March 8, 2013
Images Captured By Anelle Richardson Photography

Tiny Light Hunter is a little boy with a big smile.  He seemed perfectly healthy for the first ten days of his life.  Then, at one of his first checkups, his pediatrician detected a heart murmur and sent him to the local children’s hospital for further tests the next day.  Hunter’s parents Laurie and Denis weren’t worried, as their newborn seemed to be fine apart from not gaining weight.  

But to Laurie and Denis’ shock, caregivers of all kinds came pouring into their room at the hospital. As Laurie says, “The next thing we knew they were drawing a diagram and telling us Hunter needed to be admitted to the NICU immediately and prepped for surgery. They were not sure how quickly they would be able to operate but it couldn't wait.”  Little Hunter had coarctation (narrowing) of the aorta and had already lost his pulse in his groin area. Laurie remembers, “One of the most terrifying moments of our lives was having to hand him over to the medical staff for surgery. How do you say goodbye to your newborn baby?”  

The surgical team removed part of Hunter’s aorta and patched it up.  His heart was clamped during the operation, and a line was put inside his arm at the elbow as his veins were too small for regular IV’s.  Hunter came through the ordeal better than anticipated and was able to go home after four days instead of the expected two to three weeks.

Today, Laurie and Denis help raise money for the hospital that gave their Tiny Light an excellent chance for a long and healthy life.  And Hunter is busy smiling non-stop and flirting with all the women he meets!    

Written by Jayne Akizuki


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