Toddler dies waiting for new heart, a few days short of his birthday

Toddler dies waiting for new heart, a few days short of his birthday

Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect days after he was born, the infant had six open heart surgeries and a pacemaker installed in his tiny body

Tragedy does not wait for the best time to strike; more often than not tragedy strikes at the worst of times, and strikes the most helpless, most innocent of us all. Newborn Colten Robertson from Duluth, Minnesota is one of these unfortunate souls.

He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect just days after he was born, and over the course of seven months, the infant had six open heart surgeries and a pacemaker installed in his tiny body.

A few short months after his last surgery, the newborn’s heart began exhibit issues again. The doctors said he needed a new heart.

“We thought we would see a few more years come and go before Colten would need any sort of heart surgery again,” his father said in a Facebook post.

“We were finally starting to feel like we had a ‘normal’ life again when we were blindsided by being told Colten's only chance at life was going to be a heart transplant.”

Colten was taken to Mayo Hospital, where his family was told that it might take three to six months before before the new heart arrives.

Soon things began took a turn for the worse, when Colten began to be “very sick.” He suffered from some bleeding and the doctors were working to get it under control.

Sometime later the newborn died, a few days short of his birthday.

Congenital heart defects

Centers for Disease Control said that congenital heart defects such as Colten’s aren’t very common, and only about 1 percent of babies are born with such a defect.

There are many types of congenital heart defects. They range from simple defects with no symptoms to complex defects with severe, life-threatening symptoms.

It is the most common type of birth defect, affecting 8 out of every 1,000 newborns.

Fortunately the diagnosis and treatment of complex heart defects has greatly improved over the past few decades, and as a result most children who have complex heart defects survive to adulthood and live active, productive lives.

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Written by

James Martinez

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