Valley Springs boy inspires citywide proclamation
February 21. 2014 10:05AM
Valley Springs Mayor Carl Moss wants the whole city to be aware of congenital heart defects and how they can change the lives of children and their family. His grandson, Matthew Danielson, has combated the condition since birth.
Moss proclaimed Feb. 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Valley Springs. His grandson was at his side when he signed the proclamation.
Matthew’s mother, Angela Danielson, the daughter of Moss and his wife Cindy Danielson, said the proclamation signing went great. She wrote a narrative for others, telling about how she and her husband, Rick, and their family have dealt with Matthew’s condition. Matthew, the Danielson’s middle son, now is 7 years old and a first-grader at Valley Springs Elementary.
“When we brought Matthew in for his 15-month, well-child check(in May), our doctor heard a heart murmur for the first time,” Danielson writes. “So, he had us go to the hospital to have an echocardiogram and EKG done to see if it was anything to worry about.
“It turned out that (Matthew) had a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). Since it was a small one and not causing any other problems at the time, we could wait until September to have it closed by using a catheter-based procedure in Sioux Falls. Or we could go out of state to have it done.
“We opted to wait, and when we went back in September, (Matthew) had developed a Coarctation of the aorta. So within a week, we had a sedated MRI to find the true length of coarctation and surgery,” she said. “We were lucky enough that it was short enough that we could have surgery in Sioux Falls. So he had both repaired in one surgery.
“Two years ago, we found out that he also has a subAortic ridge, so that is one that we will follow, and if it starts causing problems, we will need to do surgery again,” she said.
“We see a pediatrics cardiologist every year and do echos and EKGs.”
Danielson said that she and her family attended events sponsored by a group called Mended Little Hearts of the Sioux Empire.
“We had one (recently) in which I was able to share Matthew’s story with other families,” Danielson said.
Mended Little Hearts of the Sioux Empire is free. According to the group’s website, www.siouxempiremlh.org, the group is a support program for parents of children with heart defects and heart disease. The group “connects families in crisis with other parents who have survived the shock of learning a child has a heart problem, navigated the maze of medical decisions and procedures, and mapped out a plan for the future.”
ABOUT CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS
Examples: holes in the heart’s inside walls, narrowed or leaky valves, or malformed vessels or heart chambers.
How common: Congenital heart defects occur in almost 1 percent of births.
Causes: Most causes are unknown. Only 15 percent to 20 percent are related to known genetic conditions
Costs: In 2009, hospital cost for about 27,000 hospital stays for children treated primarily for CHDs in the U.S. was almost $1.5 billion.
Source: Congenital Heart Public Health Consortium