This is Liam’s story, as told by his mother, Janet.
He was born in 2004 with a healthy heart. Liam is now living with the most serious heart complications due to Kawasaki disease (KD). In July of 2006, he was diagnosed with KD. As a result, Liam has many coronary aneurysms. Children with coronary aneurysms are faced with a lifetime of medication and increased risk of blood clots, stenosis, ischemic heart disease and premature atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of heart attack.
In summer 2009 he went for his angiogram where they insert a catheter into his groin to see if the giant aneurysms have changed, if there are any blood clots, and do a nuclear stress test — a test he has endured on four occasions. Within 15 minutes the cardiologist came back and told us he could not complete the stress test. It was too dangerous. Liam had stenosis (narrowing of the arteries) and a blood clot in the aneurysm. Surgery was our only option. Five days later he had coronary bypass surgery. They rerouted the mammory artery within his chest to replace the damaged coronary. The surgeon later told us the artery was very small, his arteries were quite damaged and that scar tissue on the heart indicated he had suffered a heart attack. Statistically the outcome looks good, but his future is unknown.
His cardiologist indicated there are three things that will continue to impact his outcome. He needs to lead an active healthy lifestyle, stay well anticoagulated, and go for regular checkups — currently every 6 months.
Liam takes high dose anti-coagulant medication (Coumadin) in addition to Lipitor, Aspirin and a beta-blocker. He will be on heart medication for the rest of his life. Children with acquired heart disease will never be able to participate in contact sports, experience roller coasters, ski nor do any other high-risk injury activities most young people enjoy participating in.
Liam is now a thriving 14 year old!
**Opinions expressed are those of the parent who submitted this story.