Super Heroes 4 Kids: 6-year-old thriving after open heart surgeries

SPOKANE, Wash.– Doctors were coming up with treatment plans for Elliott Naftzger before she was even born.

Rachel Naftzger learned early on in her pregnancy that something wasn’t right with Elliott’s heart. The Walla Walla resident was referred to Spokane’s Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital for more specialized care. That’s where doctors confirmed that Elliott had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. That is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“They said, we’ve seen this. We’ve had patients with this. So here’s what we do,” Naftzger said.

Elliott had to undergo three open-heart surgeries before the age of five to treat her condition. Since then, she’s been continuing her care with Sacred Heart doctors. Naftzger said she also still relies on medication.

But, they’ve slowly been able to wean her off some meds and recent test results have proved promising. They had lab work done Thursday.

“They said these are the best labs that they think they’ve ever seen from her and so we were super excited about that,” Naftzger said.

Good news like that means less stress and more time for fun. Elliott’s spent the summer with her family painting, playing, and camping. Now she’s looking ahead to kindergarten.

“She can do things like run and play on the playground. That was something we weren’t sure she would be able to do and so just these kind of simple things that we once took for granted really mean so much to us,” Naftzger said.

Donations to Children’s Miracle Network helped pay for some of the specialized tools and programs Elliott and so many other children rely on. Learn more about giving HERE.

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