OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Imagine a scary prognosis for your child. It is something no parent ever wants to face, but for one Oklahoma couple, the news came even before their baby was born.
Her name is Kayd – a spelling just as unique as her journey into this world.
“It’s one of those things out of sight out of mind, kind of,” Dathan Kennemer said. “You understand there is something major going on, but you don’t really see that. So you can really only comprehend so much until she was born.”
Kayd’s parents, Macy and Dathan, were at their 18-week prenatal checkup to find out the gender of baby Kayd, but the learned so much more.
“The sonographer obviously couldn’t say much, but she was like ‘In a little bit the doctor will be in,’ and it was like an hour. And then she was like, ‘Actually, stay and prepare because the doctor wants to review everything.’ So when the doctor came in and she just kept focusing on the heart, and I’ll never forget Nathan was like ‘Man, her heart is really beating,’ and she was like, ‘Yeah, but there is a really serious heart defect,’” Macy Kennemer said.
That heart defect is complicated.
Let Dr. Burkhart explain it.
“Kayd had what’s called Heterotaxy Unbalanced AV Canal,” Burkhart said. “From an AV canal standpoint, it means normally we have two pumping chambers, two ventricles, and you have a wall in between. Kayd has a hole in between there, and then the two atria, there’s a hole in between. And normally they should be closed so you have two atria and two ventricles.”
Before Kayd was even born, Dr. Burkhart and his team were able to put a game plan in place.
As Kayd grows, she will have to undergo a series of surgeries.
“Surgery is buying time,” her mom said. “Her body is never going to work like ours.”
Kayd will live a life of yearly cardiologist visits, doctors don’t know how long each procedure will last. It is a lifelong research effort.
“We’re getting them so that we can get them to tomorrow,” Burkhart said. “We can get to 10 years down the road, and that’s why we still need the support of the Children’s Hospital Foundation.”
“I’ve always just said if somebody can be impacted by this then all my tears are worth it,” Macy Kennemer said. “If we can make a difference by sharing her story or whatever that looks like for us we feel like that’s what we’re called to do.”
And hopefully one day all these surgeries and all this research will make a heart for kids that never stops beating.