Jeramiah before his procedure
New Orleans - July, 2012 - Jeramiah Corey, from Baton Rouge, is a six-year-old boy living with Crohn’s disease. When he started turning blue and experiencing extremely high heart rates, physicians blamed it on a virus or Crohn’s. But Jeramiah continued to be so out of breath he had to be pushed in a stroller and wore oxygen in a backpack on his back, so his mother reached out to a local pulmonologist for help.
After a multitude of tests to check his lungs, heart and brain, including a heart catheterization, the test results came back normal and indicated nothing was wrong, yet his oxygen levels were only measuring at 70 percent.
“We were heartbroken – Jeramiah had been stuck and prodded so much,” said Amy, Jeramiah’s mother. “I was glad that his heart and lungs were good, but I knew something else was wrong.”
After consulting with their doctor, they were referred to Dr. Fernando Urrego, a pediatric pulmonologist at Ochsner for Children. When Jeramiah arrived at Ochsner, just standing up made him turn blue from lack of oxygen.
Dr. Urrego believed it had something to do with Jeramiah’s heart and consulted with Dr. Victor Lucas and Dr. Ivory Crittendon, both pediatric cardiologists at Ochsner. Within a week, they scheduled another heart catheterization as well as a transesophageal echocardiogram.
During this procedure, the doctors were able to diagnose and repair an atrial septal defect that no one had been able to find before.
“When he opened his eyes after the surgery and looked at me, I cried. I just wanted to pick him up and hold him,” Amy said. “I asked him how he felt and he said, “I’m good.” The nurse was crying too!”
Today, Jeremiah no longer needs oxygen assistance and is a happy, healthy little boy.
“If I hadn’t chosen to go to Ochsner, Jeramiah may have never been fixed,” said Amy. “Dr. Lucas, Dr. Crittendon and Dr. Urrego were awesome. They stood by us through the entire process. I am just so pleased and we are blessed with the results.”
For more information on the Ochsner Medical Center for Children or to schedule an appointment, call 504-842-3900.
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