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My Daughter's Heart Was The Size Of A Strawberry — Until A Balloon Angioplasty Reversed Her Thrombosis

Thrombosis survivor Arianna Pena, Texas Children's Heart CenterWhen I was pregnant with Arianna, everything seemed very routine. She was even seemingly healthy at birth in July of 2009. Unfortunately, the normalcy and serenity of her new life quickly changed.

When Arianna was only 5 days old, an ultrasound revealed she had extensive thrombosis, a dangerous condition where clots blocked the flow of blood leading in and out of her heart. At the time, her heart was the size of a strawberry, and her arteries were even smaller. I knew an intensely delicate and skilled procedure was needed on a heart so fragile and I knew I could turn to the experts at Texas Children’s Heart Center.

On August 5, 2009, Arianna was taken to the catheterization lab, where a lifesaving balloon angioplasty was completed. This incredibly skilled procedure uses an empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire, known as a balloon catheter that is passed into the narrowed locations and then inflated. The balloon opens the blood vessel for improved flow and the balloon is then deflated and withdrawn. A stent is then inserted to ensure the vessels remain open to continue pumping blood through the body.

Following her successful procedures, Arianna has shown no symptoms from the cardiovascular complications she experienced early in life. She is now a vibrant and growing 3 year old. I am so thankful for her many days ahead thanks to Texas Children’s Heart Center.Thrombosis Survivor Arianna Pena, Texas Children's Heart Center

Bianca Garcia, mother of patient