Colorado baby, father face multiple heart surgeries

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Dad, unborn child both need heart surgeries

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BELLVUE, Colo. -- A family just can’t seem to catch a break and they need help during a difficult time in their lives.

Chad Goodyear last year discovered he needed open-heart surgery when he was just 26 years old.

“The aorta is a vein that’s supposed to be 16 to 20 millimeters wide and mine was only 4 millimeters wide, and then there was a valve problem,” he said. “Your heart is supposed to have three valves that open and mine only has two.”

Goodyear underwent the surgery, but it was a very difficult procedure.

“The doctor told me it was the most challenging surgery he’s ever done out of 5,000,” he said.

Goodyear spent several months recovering before he was finally able to return to work. That’s when the family received more bad news.

Goodyear learned the surgery wasn’t successful and that he needed a second open-heart surgery. He underwent the second procedure a few weeks ago.

His wife, Summer, could only pray this one would work.

“When you see him wake up and he has three chest tubes coming out and they’re all an inch wide and that doesn’t include all the little tubes, it’s a really hard sight,” she said.

Now, the hammer has dropped again. The Goodyears have learned their unborn baby also has heart problems. Summit, as he will be named, is missing half his heart. He’ll undergo surgery just days after he’s born next month.

“When you find out, for those first few weeks you feel like you just can’t stop crying,” Chad Goodyear said.

The baby will undergo a second open=heart surgery just weeks after the first. He’ll also need a third open-heart surgery by the time he’s 3 years old.

There could also be other complications as 50 percent of babies with hypoplastic heart syndrome need heart transplants. Only 50 percent of those survive.

The Goodyears are now trying to find a way to tell their 4-year-old daughter Aspen that her baby brother might not survive.

“I don’t know quite the way to say it other than none of us are guaranteed another day,” Summer Goodyear said.

However, the family has beat the odds before and they’re prepared to do it again.

“I think prayer is what got him through his first surgery, I really do,” Summer Goodyear said about her husband.

The couple is relying not only on prayer, but on the help of the community during one of the scariest times in their lives.

“It feels really good to know that people are willing to help us make ends meet when we don’t know how we’re going to,” Chad Goodyear said.

The Goodyears have medical insurance, but they’re worried about how they’re going to pay the rest of the bills.

Chad Goodyear can’t work for several months because of his surgery and Summer Goodyear won’t be able to either once she has the baby.

The family has also been living in a wall tent until just recently, while Chad Goodyear builds their new home.

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.

 

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