In Their Words

James Foix in his baby cribOlivia Foix
North Liberty, IA

I was living in Winterset, IA at the time, 31 weeks pregnant, when I found out there was something wrong with James. When I was about 35 weeks pregnant, I had a consultation meeting at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, as I was going to have to have him there. He was initially at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital for two months following his birth. 

James was born with a genetic disorder called DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. He was also born with complex congenital heart disease, a ventricular septal defect (VSD), Type B interrupted aortic arch, a single kidney, Stage 3 chronic kidney disease, bilateral clubfoot, and later we would find out he also had pulmonary hypertension in his left lung. 

After he was born and I was able to hold him for a minute or two, they took him down to the NICU. He was then later transferred up to the PCICU. He was scheduled to have surgery to repair his VSD and his aortic arch. His heart surgeon was not confident that his kidney would survive that surgery, so they came up with a temporary fix to give him time to grow and his kidney to get stronger. His next surgery was when he was 7 months old. 

To begin to explain everything this hospital has done and continues to do for us, I would end up writing a novel. I am a single mother whose entire family lives in Minnesota. I was doing this completely on my own, along with taking care of my oldest son who was 3 at the time. Everyone there made it so comfortable, and are part of the reason why I never broke. Even when he was not admitted to the hospital, someone was always there if anything was wrong or I had any questions. They saved my son’s life, and I can never repay everyone for everything they have done for me and my two sons. They helped more than they knew they were, were very understanding, and explained things were I could understand. It was not a pleasant time, but everyone there made it better. I am completely in debt to all of them.

Related Medical Services