Hayes was born on December 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM at UAB hospital in Birmingham, AL.  He was about 8 lbs (was not weighed due to severity of heart condition) and had a full head of black hair.  At about 30 weeks of pregnancy my husband I found out our little boy had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and possible some other complications.

     Hayes was born via C-section that was schedule and there were many physicians waiting out in the hall to help with his arrival.  He cried as he was delivered and then he was immediately taken out of the delivery room to a group of doctors and surgeons for assessment.  At 40 minutes of life Hayes was put on a ventilator and hooked up to an EXMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine.  This machine helps babies with a severely diseased heart and lungs to survive.  He was then taken to Children’s of Alabama for surgery on his atrial septum (which was intact.).   This surgery took several hours, but was successful.  After 7 days on ECMO, Hayes had surgery to remove the machine, and put bands on his Pulmonary arteries.  This surgery was a high risk, but was successful.  Over the next few weeks, he continued to recover from his surgery.  He had some irregular heartbeats (SVT), but they were able to fix them with medicine.

     My husband I got to hold Hayes for the first time on Christmas Day 2013.  Hayes continued to have fluid retention problems sot they put ion CRRT (hemo dialysis).  ON January 5 2014, Hayes came off of the ventilator!  On January 10th, he had a PDA sent put in to complete his Hybrid procedure.  Hayes continued to be in Kidney failure which was one of the man obstacles we faced at this point.  Hayes came off of the CRRT in mid-January and we were able to hold him regularly then!  Hayes continued to fight through multiple fevers, some low blood pressures and another couple procedures for the next month and a half.

     On February 27, 2013 Hayes went to Heaven to be with the Lord.  He was having a low blood pressure episode and even with the medicines he was not able to bounce back.  His father, grandfather, and I were there with him at his bedside until his last breath.  He was a blessing to many and touched many people’s lives in his short 3 months on Earth.  In memory of Hayes, we are supporting the research of congenital heart defects (CHD) through The Children’s Heart Foundation.  Medical research and procedures have come a long way for chd’s but there are still a lot of unanswered questions out there.

Written by Ashley and Lee McKeithan (Hayes’ Mom and Dad)

Hayes McKeithan