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The American Heart Association held their 2019 Iredell County Heart Ball last Saturday night at the Statesville Regional Airport. Many local influential leaders from the medical and corporate communities gathered to raise funds for the organization as they strive to help us live long, healthy lives.
But the evening was particularly special to us, as EnergyUnited’s Training & Safety Specialist Jason Wilson, his wife Sheri and their son Jarrett were honored during the event.
Only hours after Jarrett was born, nurses suspected something was wrong when they noticed he had a blue coloring, which meant he might not be getting sufficient oxygen levels. He was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where doctors diagnosed Jarrett with pulmonary atresia, a congenital defect in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly. Fortunately for the family, this can be treated, but requires serious and invasive surgery. At only 5 days old, little Jarrett underwent successful surgery to open a flap in his heart, allowing precious oxygen to flow to his body.
The stress that Sheri and Jason endured was significant—from rushing to another hospital, to looking after their two older children at home, all while not knowing what the future held. All the chaos, however, was well worth it for the sake of baby Jarrett.
Ten years later, Jarrett is a happy and healthy boy and enjoys playing soccer and basketball with his friends and classmates. He will require another surgery in the next five years to place a permanent valve in his heart where the flap was repaired in his first week of life, but today there are no worries about that.
“We are so thankful for the doctors and the medical expertise that was available to us 10 years ago,” Jason said. “That gave our son the chance at the life that he deserves. We are glad to be part of the Heart Ball event to raise money and awareness to help out other families like us.”
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