Miracle Stories

Bryce Carr: 2010

Congenital heart disease, VSD, ballooning mitral valve

For Bridget and Tony Carr, March 12, 2009, was a day to celebrate. Their baby boy had been born the picture of perfection—two arms, two legs and a bright smile. He had a minor hang-up with eating but nobody could imagine that was a sign of a significant problem. The Carrs were packing up their hospital room from a weekend of family festivities celebrating Bryce's arrival. In fact, Tony was so confident in their departure he had ventured out to the parking lot to get the car, while Bridget and Bryce awaited a final exam from Dr. Wehner.

What happened next is what many heart specialists in San Antonio deem a miracle from an incredibly insightful pediatrician. "Dr. Wehner told me everything was good, but Bryce had a slight heart murmur so he wanted Bryce to have an EKG." Bridget says, "All I could do was cry. We were moments away from going home, and this amazing doctor heard something that just didn't sound right. Had we left the hospital, Bryce may not be with us today."

Dr. Wehner says, "I just did what I do and happened to catch a major issue."

The next 24 hours were nothing less than an exhausting race that ended shortly after midnight in San Antonio. "Dr. Wehner told me 'If you don't give me Bryce now, he may not make it," Bridget says. "As a mom, I was terrified. It seems like it took Tony forever to get back up to the hospital room. I felt like the world just stopped."

Tony picks up the story: "When we arrived in San Antonio, the specialists were waiting for us. They took Bryce and ran tests on him all night." Little did the Carrs know that throughout the night, six doctors had met to determine what would provide Bryce the best chance for survival. He was officially diagnosed with congenital heart disease, VSD and a ballooning mitral valve.

"Once the tests were completed, the medical team woke us up," Tony says. "They told us that Bryce was fortunate to be alive and that we had several options, none of which were easy. One option was a heart transplant. The others were deemed experimental surgeries. We had heard stories of heart transplant cases in children and knew that wasn't an option we wanted."

The doctors then began to operate on Bryce. The surgery was a temporary fix to repair his valve. After five hours, the Carrs heard their son was in recovery and doing well.

If you met Bryce on the street today, you would not know that he struggled with any problems. He is an amazingly busy and outgoing boy who loves to be on the go chasing his older brother, Beau. Bridget and Tony are unsure of what may be on the road ahead for Bryce. The one thing they do know is that the exceptional medical care Bryce received at Shannon is responsible for his being able to beat the odds and race to the finish line of his choosing.

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