Jaxson – Hero of the Month


“A 3-year-old with potential heart failure”

Two minutes is a long time for a 3-year-old to be cooped up, so can you imagine how hard 2 ½ weeks confined to a hospital bed would be? This is what Iowa native, Jaxson, endured after having heart surgery at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines. Jaxson was born with an atrial septal defect, a hole in the wall between his heart’s upper chambers (atria). This problem can lead to lung damage and an overworked heart. Left untreated, a large atrial septal defect causes the right side of the heart to enlarge, weaken and eventually fail. If this continues, the blood pressure in the lungs increases which results in pulmonary hypertension, an incurable type of high blood pressure that progressively worsens and is sometimes fatal.

After Jaxson’s surgery, he experienced a complication called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a rapid heart rhythm that may escalate to 300 beats per minute. The norm is 60 to 100 beats per minute. Jaxson received treatment for his SVT and doctors monitored him closely throughout his stay.

Jaxson is a very outgoing and playful little boy. He loves watching movies, building Legos, and playing board games. His nominating Child Life Specialist, Lisa, called him a “resilient child who is always full of smiles and did great coping with an extended stay in the hospital.”

For that reason, Kids Wish Network and Mercy Hospital, Des Moines would like to honor Jaxson by recognizing him as a Hero of the Month! Congratulations, Jaxson!

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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.