Tyler Thomas


Tyler was born on April 4, 2006. About a week later, with concern about overly pale complexion, his family took him to the pediatrician for a little check-up. The doctors were concerned about his heart when they realized that his oxygen levels were only half of what they should be. Further tests on his heart revealed that he had severe heart defects that had gone unnoticed all through the pregnancy and at his first few check-ups. His heart was basically incompatible with life and only a small hole in his heart called the PDA from a defective valve was allowing a small amount of blood flow to pass through where it needed to go to keep him alive. As they watched the ultrasound of his heart on a computer screen, they could see this PDA trying to close shut (which is what it normally does soon after a baby is born), but as they watched, they knew that if Tyler’s PDA closed he would no longer have the ability to get oxygen to his blood and he would not be able to survive. The Cardiologist immediately called for a life-flight helicopter from Egleston to come and get Tyler and bring a medication that would trick his body into allowing the PDA to remain open, the only chance to keep this baby alive in the short term. By that afternoon his family was meeting with other doctors in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and consenting to their 9 day old baby having open heart surgery first thing the next morning. Tyler has had 3 other surgeries on his heart since then and he has grown into an amazing boy. He truly is a miracle to his family and they are so grateful to all of the doctors and  nurses at the Sibley Heart Center at CHOA-Egleston who have taken such great care of Tyler and his delicate heart!