Jake was born with a Congenital Heart Defect called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
TOF actually includes four separate components:
Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) - This is a large hole between the two ventricles that allows venous (bluish) blood to pass from the right ventricle to the left. This blood then goes to the aorta and throughout the body without picking up oxygen from the lungs. Stenosis at or beneath the pulmonary valve - This narrowing of the pulmonary valve prevents blood from flowing freely into the lungs where it would be oxygenated. Right ventricle is more muscular than normal. The aorta lies directly over the VSD. The cumulative effect is that some children experience blueness (cyanosis) soon after birth. During exercise, older children may become short of breath. These symptoms occur because there is not enough blood flow to the lungs to supply the body with sufficient oxygen. Most children with Tetralogy of Fallot have open-heart surgery as infants to repair the VSD and remove the obstructing muscle. Some infants require a shunt to increase blood flow to the lungs and to allow the child time to grow. If the pulmonary valve is significantly narrowed, it will need to be opened. Often times may require a graft or a patch.
Long-range prognosis varies greatly depending on how severe the defects were before surgery. Children with Tetralogy of Fallot are at risk for infection of the heart's walls or valves (endocarditis) before and after surgery. Antibiotics should be used before dental work and certain surgeries to prevent endocarditis. Good dental hygiene lowers this risk.