-- At just over 18 months, little Aiden Rogers looks and acts like any other toddler. But his smile hides the fact that only half his heart works.
Aiden was born last year with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, according to his mother Jenny Rogers. The syndrome leaves the left side of the heart severely underdeveloped, meaning the heart can't effectively pump blood into the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
"His legs may be a little bit purple from the circulation," Rogers said of how Aiden's syndrome affects his daily life. "He’s on a daily aspirin regimen and I give him another medication. Nothing has held him back so far."
Rogers first found out about Aiden's condition when she was 20 weeks pregnant. She and her husband had to temporarily relocate to Houston, Texas, so that they could get treatment at Texas Children's Hospital.
“All of this was hard to take in,” Rogers said. “It wasn’t just hard, it was gut-wrenching. My tiny precious baby would have his chest cut open in his first week of life. My little son Noah would be away from his mommy a lot. I would be moving to Houston away from my husband, whom I’d never been apart from for more than a few days.”
Aiden was born in April of last year. He's had two surgeries in order to help blood flow to and from his heart.
“Aiden is doing remarkably well,” said Dr. Nancy Ayres, director of fetal cardiology at Texas Children’s Hospital. “With his activity level, you wouldn’t even know he’s had surgery or that he’s missing half of his heart.”
While a heart transplant could be an option should his heart fail, Rogers said the family is hopeful they won't have to resort to that choice.
"Transplant is the last option...it’s trading one problem for a host of other problems," Rogers explained. "Hopefully we can keep his heart."
She said Aiden will have at least one more surgery to help promote blow flow to his lower limbs. Now that he's walking and dancing, Aiden is already a handful for his parents.
"If he had his whole heart, I don’t know how we would keep up with him," Rogers said. "He can walk but he prefers to crawl because he can get places faster."