Orange County

Orange County 3-Year-Old's $1 Million Heart Surgery in Boston Canceled

The left side of his heart cannot effectively pump blood to his body, so only half of his heart is fully formed.

Three-year-old Noah Connally's parents got bad news in Boston, where they thought the toddler would receive lifesaving heart surgery, it was reported Friday.

The plan was for Noah to undergo biventricular repair heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital to give him two working ventricles. But the surgery was canceled after tests by the hospital revealed he was not a suitable candidate.

Hours of testing Wednesday showed Noah's heart was too badly deteriorated on the one side to move forward with the 10-hour-long, million-dollar procedure. 

"It brought the risk level of the surgery up tremendously, and it's an already risky procedure," said Niccole Connally, Noah's mother.

Noah suffers from hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The left side of his heart cannot effectively pump blood to his body, so only half of his heart is fully formed.

The child looks perfect. But "Noah only operates on 80% oxygen. We feed him primarily through a G-tube. He's limited in his speech, clearly because he's not getting 100% oxygen. He's delayed in other areas," his mother said.


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Noah's parents, both teachers, came to Boston from their home in Orange County so Noah could undergo life-saving surgery ay Boston Children's Hospital. The surgery was not offered in California and his family and doctors initially thought it would give Noah Connally the chance to live what his parents call a "typical" life.

Doctors in Boston agree it's safest now for Noah to return home to California and have a procedure that will force him to rely on his one healthy ventricle.

Noah's journey to Boston gained additional attention when the family's health insurance company wouldn't cover the cost of the surgery in Boston.

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"Hours before we left for our trip to come here last week, we got a call saying that you have not been preauthorized," said Sean Connally, the child's father. An additional appeal was denied, but the family pushed forward.

Niccole Connally said her family wants to thank Boston for the outpouring of love and support they received. They plan to use the money raised on a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of the medical tests done Wednesday at Boston Children's Hospital.

"We're pretty confident that it'll be actually almost exactly the amount that people donated," Sean Connally said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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