Salina Journal: A Heart for Peter
By Gary Demuth
Everything about Peter Hernandez’s birth appeared normal.
The Salina baby was carried full term by his mother, Erin Hernandez, and was born a robust 7 pounds 10 ounces at Salina Regional Health Center on Aug. 20, 2018.
Then, in the wee hours of the night of Peter’s birth, a nurse monitoring the baby’s vitals thought she heard a heart murmur. A follow-up echocardiogram revealed that Peter had aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aortic valve, the large blood vessel branching off the heart. This narrowing reduces or blocks blood flow and can lead to heart failure if not repaired or replaced.
“The next thing we knew, they told us they were going to send him to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City,” said Peter’s father, Christopher Hernandez. “He was taken there by ambulance on Aug. 22 and has been there ever since.”
Peter’s initial surgery, intended to open his partially fused aortic valve, was done at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., when he was just four days old.
It soon became clear that Peter’s heart wasn’t going to be able to function much longer on its own.
“We knew he wasn’t going to be able to leave the hospital without a new heart,” Christopher said.
At two-and-a-half months, Peter was put on a list to receive a heart transplant. Since then, it has been a waiting game for the Hernandez family.
Read the full story via Salina Journal
Learn more about the Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy