Nacogdoches baby survives cardiac arrest, proves miracles do happen

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - He's our littlest survivor yet, and little does he know, at only 2 months old, he is already proving that miracles can happen.

At sixteen weeks pregnant, Courtney Allen noticed a small spot on his heart. With prior experience like this in her family, Courtney thought it was just a calcium deposit.

But at around 28 to 30 weeks, she found out her son, Grayson, would have a major heart defect.

"Honestly, I was just praying a lot, talking to my husband about it a lot and trying to make plan as to what we would do in certain situations. We were talking to specialists every couple of weeks," Courtney said.

They were paired up with Medical City Hospital in Dallas and were put into the AMNI program. Courtney says Grayson's birth was perfect.

"He was pretty healthy at birth and all of his vital signs were good," Courtney said.

Despite being born with Ventricular Septal Defect, which means there is a hole in his heart, everything went smoothly. But six days later, on Dec. 9, 2012, Grayson had open heart surgery.

"Honestly, it was crazy and it was like you were in shock, like, it's not really happening to you like you're looking at somebody else's life," Courtney said.

Courtney says she relied on family and prayer to get through the surgery, and when it was over she was told that Grayson had done perfect. But three hours later, things turned for the worse when the nurses wouldn't let her see Grayson.

"As a nurse, my immediate feeling was somebody's baby is in trouble," Courtney said.

Little did she know, it was her baby.

"They opened the door to talk to me and I could see straight down the hall to Grayson's room and there was just a crowd of people there and so I knew it was him," Courtney said.

Doctors said Grayson's little body just gave up, and he suffered cardiac arrest.

"Basically, he was dead. I mean so to speak. Nothing was reviving him; the only thing that was keeping him going was the great staff there who were giving him adequate CPR for 35 minutes, and a ECMO machine, which provides cardiac and respiratory support oxygen to patients whose heart and lungs can no longer function on their own.

He stayed on the ECMO machine for 3 days, and then finally, he was taken off. The family stayed at the hospital for 5 weeks and one day, and finally they were able to go home.

Grayson is doing wonderful now, but will have to go back to the hospital to get a Pulmonary Artery Band taken off of his heart this summer. Doctors will then put a patch over the hole in his heart, which he will wear for the rest of his life.

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