Carter Williams was born in February of 2004 to the proud parents of Stacey & Kevin. You can only imagine the delight that they had as parents as she was their first child. It was an amazing day but quickly turned into one of the most terrifying days of their lives.
She was born at 6:50 in the morning… There were a couple of nurses in the room cleaning Carter up, and testing her, and after a few minutes, they said that there appeared to be some kind of a blockage in her lungs, as she wasn’t getting as much oxygen as she should. After a few more minutes the nurses alerted them that Carter needed to be moved to another unit for more testing. You can only imagine the fear the William’s felt at that very moment. After about an hour of anxiously waiting, the doctor shared with Kevin & Stacey that there didn’t appear to be a blockage in her lungs but something was seriously wrong. He said she needed immediate surgery, and that without it Carter would probably not have long to live.
Carter was immediately transferred to Children’s Hospital for more testing. A few hours later, Kevin was visited by a cardiologist from the NICU. He explained that Carter’s blood could not flow properly into her heart because of a problem with her pulmonary valve. Because of this her heart was not able to form both chambers and eventually would be cut off from all blood and oxygen.
Carter needed surgery immediately and while she had good odds there was a 5% chance that she would not make it. The amazing thing is that just a few decades ago, there was no treatment for this condition, and the babies born with it could not be saved. Over the past few decades, different methods to operate on children have been established, and things have gone from a small chance of survival, with many surgeries and many issues in the early 1960’s to less and less surgeries for the children. Babies born with this condition just as recently as the 1990’s went through many surgeries at an early age, and often a difficult life filled with health issues.
When Carter was 3 days old, Stacey and Kevin got to hold her briefly for the first time before she underwent 8 hours of open heart surgery. The initial prognosis was that she would be in the hospital for up to two months, and the best case scenario was that Carter could go home in two weeks; fortunately that is exactly what happened. Carter is doing well now but her treatment is far from over. She had another surgery when she was 2 and it is likely that Carter will undergo another surgery this summer.
Carter is just finishing kindergarten at Bullard TALENT, and is not restricted in any way. She is proud and very aware of her magic heart, and is also excited that being the smallest kid in her class also means that she can run the fastest. She loves to dance and sing, and is definitely the order giver around her little brother. While she is doing well, she will need more treatments.
Thanks to the research of the American Heart Association she is well today. Without the breakthroughs that the AHA has funded, the Williams would be sharing a different story. While many advancements have taken place, there is still a need for more. The sad fact is that heart defects are the leading birth defect in our nation. There is a need for more funding so that others that experience what Carter has, have the chance to lead a healthy childhood. We hope that you will contribute to the American Heart Association. Whether you can give a little or a lot, we encourage you to be as generous as possible.
When you donate to the AHA, it affects people. It affects families. It affects children. It affects Carter Williams. Your donation COUNTS. Your donation makes a difference.
Because when you donate to the American Heart Association, your donation funds the grant, so that the researcher gains the knowledge, so that the doctors improve the treatment, so that more children….can LIVE!
2011 Central Valley Heart Ball
The Central Valley Heart Ball,
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Fort Washington Golf & Country Club
10272 N. Millbrook • Fresno, CA 93730