OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – An Oklahoma City baby is beating the odds.
He was born with a rare heart problem.
His blood flowed in the opposite direction.
Levi Carter’s mother was 37-weeks into her pregnancy when she found out there was something wrong with her son’s heart.
Held in the arms of his dad Rory Carter Friday afternoon, two month old Levi doesn’t have a clue about the life and death situation he experienced in his short life.
His mother Whitney thought she was going in for a routine ultrasound only to learn that her unborn son had what doctors call transposition of the great arteries.
“I just try to hold it together while he was explaining to me a little about what it was,” said Whitney Carter, mother. “As soon as you get out of the office you just try to take it all in.”
The heart problem is rare only five of every 10,000 babies in the U.S. are born with it.
Doctors said this happens when the two main arteries are not in the right position.
The arteries force the blood to flow in the wrong direction and depriving the heart of oxygen.
“Although this is a potentially rare cardiac heart problem,” said Dr. Marvin Williams, OU’s high risk pregnancy expert. “The problem with it is if it’s not recognized then these babies can get sick really quickly.”
If not treated then the outcome can be deadly.
A team of doctors and surgeons at the Children’s Hospital knew they had to move fast once Levi was born.
Dr. Harold Burkhart performed an open heart surgery to re-route the plumbing of Levi’s heart.
“The good thing about it is he should be able to pretty much act like a normal kid, act like his brother, wrestle with his brother, and grow with his brother,” said Dr. Burkhart.
Even though Levi now has a massive scar on his chest, his father Rory says it will serve as a reminder for his little boy for when he’s older.
Reminding him of the difficult challenges he had to face so early in his life.
“Every time I see that scar I think about all the great doctors and everybody that saved his life,” said Rory Carter, Levi’s father.