Morgan Avery - July 12-October 9, 2014 – Morgan Avery Smith was born July 12, 2014 to Jeff and Kristina Smith, founders of the 335 Heart Foundation. The pregnancy, labor and delivery were relatively uncomplicated and did not cause any concern. It was not until a few hours after birth, when Morgan was in the nursery, that she displayed signs of poor oxygen in her blood by turning blue. It was found that Morgan had a rare heart defect, Truncus Arteriosis, and required open heart surgery right away. She was flown to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC where she received open heart surgery at four days old to repair her defect. She was also diagnosed with Chromosome 22 deletion syndrome, which was the reason she had Truncus Arteriosis, but she would also need to be watched closely for other health problems associated with this syndrome (such as immunodeficiency, development delays, learning disabilities and hypo-parathyroid-ism). Her surgery was successful and she was home recovering well and thriving. However, the morning of October 9th, Morgan suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest due to an Arrhythmia and passed away. It was Morgan’s passing, along with subsequent research on survival rates of Critical CHD (CCHDs) that sparked the fire for the Smith’s to start the 335 Heart Foundation. She will be greatly missed, every day. Although her story does not bring “hope” to those parents just beginning their journey with CHD, the outcome is, unfortunately, all too common. Awareness of this consideration when parents begin their journey is key to preparation for the possibility of cardiac issues and how to properly react and proactively monitor heart function.

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