Transcribed by Lori Eder, Marketing Communications Specialist

When my son Knox was born on July 1, 2019, my husband and I were told right away that he had a heart murmur. After two echocardiograms and a chest X-ray, the doctor informed us that he had two congenital heart defects and was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization procedure at St. Louis Children’s Hospital the following week. 

The day before the procedure, we had another echo performed, and doctors discovered that Knox had a rare defect called an aortopulmonary window (APW). APWs are rare—they account for less than 0.1 percent of all congenital heart defects. If left untreated, they can lead to high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) and heart failure.

What we thought was going to be a non-invasive procedure and a one-night stay in the hospital turned into Knox being admitted, a five-hour open heart surgery four days later, and a weeklong stay in the hospital at only three months old. We were not prepared for it, and although we received so much support from our families and the community, it was very difficult financially.

While Knox was being treated, my manager Jake Venvertloh nominated me for the Dot Cares Fund, and I am beyond grateful. I did not know Dot offered this type of financial assistance, and it is just another reason that I am so thankful to work for such a great company.

Knox is now six months old and is doing great! We see his cardiologist monthly and are optimistic that he will not need any additional procedures.

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