Meet Easton: “Growing Like a Champ!”


September 16, 2020
Topics: Heart (cardiology), Riley Kid Story, About Us



Eason Prahl full size 2020.09.16
Riley kid Easton Prahl

On a Thursday in January, my husband and I went to what was supposed to be a routine ultrasound to find out the gender of our baby. That visit led to unexpected news of an unknown severe heart defect. Immediately we were given a referral to Riley Hospital for an echocardiogram. Riley responded with an opening for our echo appointment the following Tuesday! We were thankful then to have an appointment scheduled so quickly, and have been continually thankful for Riley due to the outstanding care that our child has received.

 

We met with Riley Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Anne Farrell during our initial echo appointment, and our baby boy was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). This is a severe heart defect in which the left side of the heart did not develop correctly. Though we were shocked, Dr. Farrell's detailed explanation and comforting words gave us hope.

 

For the next few months, we traveled to Riley for many appointments, preparing to receive the best care possible for our baby boy and learning all we could about his condition. We were nothing but impressed with the staff at both the Fetal Center at Riley Children’s Health and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine clinic. They prepared us for what would happen every step of the way, and made sure his birth went as smoothly as possible.

 

At 12:36 a.m. on May 12, after a planned induction, Easton Matthew came screaming into the world! As we expected, he went straight to Riley. He had his first surgery (the Norwood Operation) at just six days old. During the surgery, we received regular updates and met with Easton's wonderful heart surgeon at Riley, Dr. Mark Rodefeld, both before and after the procedure. The surgery was a major success!

 

Easton is three months old today and growing like a champ!  We are home with him now in Elkhart, Indiana, but we have regular communication with Riley through the At Home Care program and calls with Riley Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Dana Hartman. The continued connection has been reassuring to us as we await Easton's next surgery and stay at Riley.

 

During Easton’s journey, we have met many doctors, nurses, and other Riley staff who have carefully watched over him. Everyone has been overwhelmingly helpful and supportive. We are thankful for them all.

Did you know? Donor gifts have provided significant funding to expand the Fetal Center and Maternal-Fetal Medicine programs at Riley, helping expectant mothers with complex pregnancies.


Jenna Prahl, Riley Mom

Jenna Prahl and her husband Kevin are Riley parents from Elkhart, Indiana. They also have a 2-year-old daughter, Noelle. Jenna is a special education teacher at an elementary school and Kevin is a mechanical engineer. They enjoy being outside, playing games, and spending time with extended family.


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