Kathy Keller is mom to Garrett, age 19, whose congenital heart defect journey has been complex. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and due to Fontan complications, had a major stroke leaving him cognitively impaired with minimal use of his right arm.
At 13, Garrett developed plastic bronchitis and was listed for a heart transplant. He was fortunate to receive the gift of a new heart when he was 14. Unfortunately, his transplant was complex and he had another stroke. The second stroke left him with post-pump chorea, a rare movement disorder and dysarthria, a neurological speech impairment.
In spite of all this, Garrett does amazingly well but due to the severity of his brain injuries will require lifetime support. At age 18, we obtained full guardianship and we continue working to ensure his future financial security utilizing special needs financial planning. Garrett’s new heart is doing great and we are grateful for the opportunity to plan for his future.