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Success of Daniel Harlan's surgery


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  • Success of Daniel Harlan's surgery

    Copyright 2005 The Times (Shreveport, LA)
    All Rights Reserved
    The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana)

    July 3, 2005 Sunday


    LENGTH: 462 words

    HEADLINE: 8-month-old doing well after open-heart surgery

    BYLINE: James Ramage

       Success of Daniel Harlan's surgery means he may not need transplant.

       By James Ramage

       The color of one's skin can say a lot about his heart.

       For 8-month-old Daniel Harlan, just two days after open-heart surgery to remove the life-threatening blockage affecting one of his chambers, his complexion's transformation spoke volumes to his excited and grateful parents.

       "He's gone from looking ghostly white and gray to bright and peachy," mother Tammy Harlan said Saturday, from Daniel's room in the intensive-care unit at Ochsner Medical Center, in New Orleans. "I thought he was beautiful before, but now he's looks so alive."

       "He was always pale looking, gray looking; it's almost like he was reborn,"
    his father Robert Harlan Jr. added.

       Daniel's doctors said the surgery was so successful it was likely he wouldn't require a heart transplant, as they had feared, Tammy Harlan said.

       About a month ago, Tammy Harlan began a 243-mile trek from Benton to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston to call attention to her son's plight. Daniel was born with infantile hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -- an enlargement of his heart that causes major and lethal blockage in one of its chambers, doctors told the Bossier City family.

       Medical experts in New Orleans had said he at least required open-heart surgery, and more likely a heart transplant, Tammy Harlan said. They had recommended Daniel have the work done at Texas Children's.

       But Medicaid told the family in late May it wouldn't cover either, which would cost as much as $340,000 for both procedures, Tammy Harlan had said.

       Tammy Harlan walked for four days, getting as far as Logansport, before Medicaid reconsidered, paving the way for Daniel's visit to Ochsner.

       On Thursday, doctors removed all of the blockage around Daniel's left ventricle, Tammy Harlan said. They told her they weren't sure if it could re-form.

       "They said if it does, it won't be for a while," she said. "They've taken care of it for a long time to come."

       Daniel required blood transfusions after the 3-1/2-hour operation because he lost so much blood, Tammy Harlan said. He emerged wearing an oxygen mask, as well as with chest tubes hanging from below his rib cage to drain any excess fluids from around the heart, she said.

       "We expected him to come out on life support and pacemakers, and he didn't -- just on the oxygen," Tammy Harlan said. "I expected him to be lifeless, but he's just kicking and wiggling. He looks like a totally different kid, just so beautiful."

       Doctors told the Harlans before Daniel's surgery his heart was so bad they didn't know how he was alive.

       "Now, it's wait and see how he does," Robert Harlan said. "If (the blockage) doesn't try to re-grow, then he shouldn't need to be messed with again."

    GRAPHIC: Daniel Harlan, 8 months old, underwent open-heart surgery Thursday to remove life-threatening blockage. Jessica Leigh, File, The Times
    Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
    YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

    Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
    lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
    Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
    Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
    Currently not obstructed
    Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

  • #2
    God bless little daniel,and his courageous mother who wouldnt take no for an answer.this story reminded me of the movie John Q. what did they(medicaid)want to let the baby die .It is shameful that a situation like this could occur in this country we send countless millions overseas of our taxpayer money and If this women was less vocal a child might have lost his chance at life.I had to vent thanks mike.
    One day at a time.