Mighty Blog

Hunter’s resilience through multiple heart defects

On Dec. 23, 2018, Robin and Nathan found out they were expecting their second child. They were completely surprised as they needed help getting pregnant the first time. Although surprised, Robin and Nathan were extremely excited!

“My pregnancy with [Hunter] was normal, I didn’t have any issues or complications,” said Robin. Everything stayed completely normal until their baby was born–that’s when everything changed.

Robin’s birth story

Robin had a planned Cesarean-section (C-section). Nathan took her to the hospital to give birth around 5:30 a.m., Robin was wheeled away at 7:45 a.m. and by 8 a.m. Hunter was born.

But something didn’t seem right when Hunter was born. “They held him up so I could see him, he was blueish-purple, they took him over to the table right away,” Robin described. Hunter’s care team tried everything they could to get him to cry, and finally he did! They knew Hunter needed more help.

Two hours after Hunter was born, they told Nathan and Robin he needed to be transferred to Children’s Minnesota because something was wrong with his heart.

Hunter in the hospital
Photo courtesy of April Bogatz of Light in the Valley Photography

Hunter’s heart issues

Robin was thankful Hunter was taken to Children’s Minnesota. “Once he got there, they knew right away what was wrong,” she said.

Hunter and his mom Robin
Photo courtesy of April Bogatz of Light in the Valley Photography

While Robin was still recovering from her C-section, Nathan went with Hunter to Children’s Minnesota. While there, Hunter was diagnosed with Dextro-Transposition of the Great Arteries, or d-TGA, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and a restrictive atrial septal defect (ASD).

Robin worked up the strength to get healthy enough to go see Hunter in the cities. Once she did, she was so happy she could be with him. Once she was there, she realized her baby was in good hands the whole time.

“We had such wonderful doctors and nurses,” said Robin. “I knew he was in good hands. Once I was there they explained everything to me and what was going to be done.”

Supporting Robin and Nathan

Nathan knew Robin was struggling with everything that had happened since Hunter’s birth.

While he was at Children’s Minnesota the night Hunter was transferred without Robin, Nathan had met a few families also in the hospital. Robin wasn’t sure she wanted to do this but in the end was very glad Nathan suggested it.

“We met three wonderful families! Our kids were all born within a few days of each other,” Robin said. “We all shared our stories and what was going and we were all a great support for each other. We all still keep in touch today.”

Helping Hunter’s heart

When Hunter was still in the hospital in August, it was time for his surgery to help repair his heart defects. “That felt like the longest day of my life,” Robin described. But Hunter’s care team came out after surgery and gave Hunter’s family the good news – everything went great!

After three weeks in the hospital, Hunter recovered and was able to go home to be with his family. “I am so grateful for the fantastic care team and surgeons we had.” Robin said.

Hunter today

Hunter is 17 months old today and healthy. His health doesn’t restrict him, and his parents treat him just like a normal kid.

“You would never know he had surgery or anything was wrong,” Robin said proudly.

He loves to play hockey with his older brother, is currently learning how to skate and loves to run and climb over anything and everything.

Photo courtesy of April Bogatz of Light in the Valley Photography
Alexandra Rothstein