Wesley was a normal, healthy three-month-old. What his parents originally thought was just a minor illness suddenly became a fight for life when Wesley’s heart unexpectedly stopped beating. Doctors in Des Moines, Iowa rushed Wesley to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital for the expertise found at the state’s only comprehensive children’s hospital. Upon arrival in Iowa City, Wesley went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. UI doctors placed Wesley on a partial lung bypass system called ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) for nine days, which allowed his body time to heal. Wesley's mom says, “If he hadn’t gotten on ECMO, he probably wouldn’t have made it much longer.”

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