Brantley is a little boy who was born with a congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. He was also born 5 weeks premature, and spent most of his first three months at St. Louis Children's Hospital. He has had one open heart surgery, and two catheter procedures so far. Brantley is on the severe side of TOF and he also has two other issues including a hole in the upper chamber of his heart and a narrowing branch off his pulmonary branch. We created this page to share his story, and get the word out about CHD.
Tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF, is a combination of four different heart problems. The four problems, or "defects" are: Pulmonary Stenosis (PS),Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), An Overriding of the Aorta, and Right Ventricle Hypertrophy. It is helpful to understand each of the four defects separately and then look at the effect of their combination on the Heart all together.
When the pulmonary artery is blocked the condition is called Pulmonary Stenosis. The blockage may be the result of too much muscle below the Pulmonary Valve or that the valve itself is too small or unable to open all the way. The blood vessel (the main Pulmonary Artery) may also be too narrow above the valve. This causes restricted, or no blood flow to the lungs, resulting in low O2 levels and causing the heart to work much harder than it should.
*Ventricular Septal Defect*
A Ventricual Septal Defect (VSD) is a hole between the two lower pumping chambers (Ventricles) of the heart. This is the most common of all Congenital Heart Defects. In TOF, the hole is very large and situated under the Aorta. This hole is causing a mix of oxygen rich and oxygen poor blood, which results in low O2 levels throughout the entire body. The pressure is also the same in both ventricles resulting in an inlarged heart.
Normally, the Aorta comes from the left lower chamber of the heart, known as the left ventricle. The Aorta is the largest blood vessel in the heart and is supposed to carry oxygen rich blood from the heart to all parts of the body. When the Aorta is described as Overriding, it means that the vessel is inappropriately positioned and straddles both the right and left ventricle just above the VSD.
*Right Ventricular Hypertrophy*
The Right Ventricle is the lower chamber of the heart that pumps oxygen poor, or "blue" blood to the Pulmonary Arteries. Normally, the Right Ventricle muscle is thin. Hypertrophy means the muscle wall of the chamber has become thickened. This occurs in TOF because of the extra work the muscle must do to pump the blood past the blocked Pulmonary Artery ( the PS ) as well as pump the blood to the high pressure Aorta.
Brantley has a long road ahead of him, all we know is to make each day count, and pray, pray, pray!!! If anyone would like to send cards for Brantley, we keep a box of love for him so he can see just how many people all over the US he has touched.
Our goal is to support our son in all he does, and to make others aware of CHD. It is real, it can go undetected, and kids die from it daily. Please help us get the word out.
Welcome to ellenNation, The Nation of Ellen DeGeneres, where you can showcase your submissions, add videos, images and receive opinions from other ellen fans & the members of the community. - ellenNation