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Heart month

For one and a half year old Charlotte Broadfoot, shapes, flash cards, and animal sounds such as what an elephant says are an everyday thing.

“She’s just such a joy to be around, and when we’re having a bad day and she can tell that we’re having a bad day, she’ll just climb up in our lap and hug us and say ‘hi, love you’ in her sweet little voice.” -Becky Broadfoot, mother

However, a trip to her pediatrician for a rash when she was just a month old, quickly took a turn for the worst.

“He looked at us and said, ‘but, I heard a heart murmur’, and my heart immediately dropped to the pit of my stomach.”

Charlotte’s pediatrician had treated the rash, then proceeded to a normal check-up where he heard the murmur and sent her for an echo.

“The first thing he said was she was going to have to have surgery”

The pediatric cardiologist who reviewed the echo explained to the Broadfoot’s that Charlotte had a partial AV canal defect along with two holes in the top part of her heart and one in the bottom.

“The valves and/or the septum are defective. Which means there’s mixing of blood that comes back to the heart without oxygen after the body used the oxygen with the blood that’s red that’s full oxygen that’s supposed to be sent to the body. This ends up meaning that, that child will look more blue than usual; fingers and toes, even the faces. And that also means the organs are not getting enough oxygen to work.” -Dr. Awad El-Ashry, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Anderson Regional Medical Center

Among many symptoms, the bottom of Charlotte’s feet were purple. Almost immediately after the surgery…

“I looked at her feet, and her feet were pink for the first time in her entire life. And in that moment I knew that everything was going to be ok. She was getting what she needed, and her heart was functioning the way that it was supposed to.” -Mrs. Broadfoot

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