Jameson is a little champ: How my nephew is dealing with heart surgery

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About 4 million babies are born each year in the U.S., and 150,000 babies are born with birth defects. I used to take the miracle of birth for granted – until my nephew, Jameson Unger, was born April 18 and needed corrective heart surgery.

Jameson is a champ. He was airlifted in one of the neonatal helicopters to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston moments after he was born. The following day, he underwent nearly five hours of open heart surgery.

On April 23, he moved from cardiac intensive care to the step-down unit. And on April 26, he was home.

Amazing, caring nurses and doctors at Children’s Healthcare did all they could to keep family near Jameson during his recovery. Family and friends prayed from afar and Jameson responded to each portion of his extensive corrective heart surgery with the best possible outcome.

“I am so incredibly grateful for everyone who works in a hospital,” his mom Hillary said. “From the saints in the cardiac ICU … to the people who cook the food or clean the floors.”

I’m happy to report that all is going perfectly with Jameson.

We knew that Jameson would be born with heart defects because of prenatal diagnosis, so we were prepared, but it’s emotional seeing a newborn just hours old in such a fragile state.

Jameson is getting stronger every day – thanks to the prayers of friends, the care and special attention at Children’s, the love of his family and the miracle of life. He is a champ in my book. We’ll spoil him, and I’m sure he will get a pass on some of his future mischiefs.