has a special heart. The active 5-year old can light up a room with
his smile and is already charming the girls in his kindergarten class.
But whatís really incredible is how his tiny heart cleared a giant
diagnosed with a congenital heart condition called overriding aorta
before he was born, due in large part to the remarkable clarity of
prenatal ultrasound. With 3-D images, doctors can see the walls and
valves of the fetal heart moving in real time.
Carr is a maternal fetal specialist with Wheaton Franciscan
Healthcare. "One look and I knew something was wrong. I could see
Damienís aorta arising from the middle of his heart instead of
coming off of the left side."
It was scary
news, but the same technology also gave Damienís mom, Jessica
Chavez, something to hang onto. "As I went for regular
ultrasounds, I could see Damien still had a strong heartbeat and
everything else was normal. The pictures helped me hold it
together," she says.
Carr says about
1 percent of babies in America are born with heart defects; if
diagnosed early they can do very well. "I try to find ways to
give hope to my patients and in this case the 3-D ultrasound enabled
me to do that."
were stored and reviewed by a pediatric cardiologist who came up with
a treatment plan. Damien had surgery shortly after he was born. Today,
he shows people his scar and tells them how doctors were able to fix
asked myself, what if I went to a different hospital and my doctors
didnít have that special ultrasound?" There is a catch in
Chavezís voice. "I try not to think about it. The 3-D pictures
and Dr. Carr saved Damienís life."