We would like share a story about Izzy, the grand-daughter of Gary Fenelli, President of Frank Toyota.
Isabel was born on December 3, 2015. At birth, Izzy appeared perfectly healthy. But the following day, as a nurse administered a hearing test, she noticed her lips turned an ashy-grey. Izzy’s oxygen saturation level had fallen to just 60 percent. She was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Grossmont Hospital, and was later rushed to Rady Children’s where she was diagnosed with Transposition of the Greater Arteries (TGA).
In this rare but serious heart defect, the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. Blood cannot circulate properly, leaving the body’s organs severely lacking much-needed oxygen. Without immediate treatment, the congenital condition can cause serious complications, including death.
Izzy immediately underwent cardiac catheterization to help improve the mixing of oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood. And then, at only 6 days old, she underwent open-heart surgery to complete an atrial switch to align the aorta and pulmonary ventricle with the correct chambers of the heart. She made an incredible recovery and was released from the hospital in time to be home for her first Christmas and spent a total of 16 days at Rady.
Today, Izzy is a happy, healthy, smart and strong almost 5-year-old and a Big Sister. She still doesn’t know what she went through but her family will never forget and have made it our mission to give back to Rady focusing on the Heart Institute.
The donation process is fast, easy and secure, and you can be sure that it will benefit The Dickinson Center at Rady Children's Hospital.