YOUR HEALTH: Creedon’s story: Beating cancer and heart disease

Doctors are now using an adult procedure to save the littlest of lives from heart problems.
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 8:12 AM CDT
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Congenital heart disease is not just an adult problem. In fact, one in every 100 babies born in the world is born with a heart problem. About 40,000 kids in the United States have one. While some babies require little medical intervention, others may need lifesaving operations. And now, doctors are using an adult procedure to save the littlest of lives.

Creedon McCall is the youngest of six. His mother, Callie McCall, says her twin baby boys, Creedon and Kixton, were the picture of health right after their birth, but then, things started to change for Creedon.

“He was born with a bad aortic valve that one of our pediatric cardiology colleagues actually used through a catheter and a balloon to open up at one day of life,” explained Dr. Adil Husain, the chief pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Utah Health/Primary Children’s Hospital.

That helped his heart function better. Then, two years later, Creedon was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma—the rare cancer that develops in nerve cells was treated with chemo, radiation, and then, immunotherapy.

“While all of those things were happening, he gained some fluid around his heart, and that aortic valve became much more dysfunctional,” Dr. Husain said.

That’s when Dr. Husain performed a surgery usually done on adults.

“The Ross procedure is unique because you’re actually using another valve inside of your heart as your new aortic valve,” he explained.

The valve will grow as Creedon grows and should not need to be replaced for 15 to 20 years.

“The Ross procedure gets you about as close to a cure as you have in terms of all the other options that are out there,” Dr. Husain added.

Creedon is now cancer-free and his heart is beating strong. Doctors say he should grow up to be a normal healthy little boy.

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