Hi, my name is Zoey Claire Randall, and I am 15 months old. My parents are Aaron and Laci Randall and we live in Beaumont, Texas. I also have 2 brothers who have no significant health problems but God made me special. Just to look at me with my angelic smile, you would never know anything is wrong with me. But lurking behind my sparkling personality, I am a child who struggles with many life threatening health conditions daily.
My mom and dad were told when I was still in my mother’s womb that something was wrong with my heart. Many test were run including one to check my chromosomes for birth defects. All test were negative but the doctors still knew something was not right.
My mom went into preterm labor and I was born a month early, the NICU became my new home for quite some time. The doctors ran many test on my little body and diagnosed me with Severe Aortic Stenosis, an enlarged heart, a heart murmur and an Open PDA which is basically a large hole in my heart. Along with my heart defects, I was also diagnosed with Hydronephrosis and Ureterocele which are kidney defects that would eventually end up leaving me with only 1 kidney.
I was only visiting the doctor about 3 times per month but lately it seems that I spend more time in the hospital or the doctor’s office that I do at home. My parents believe ti is worth the time and expense to travel to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston so that I can receive the best healthcare available. 8 days after I turned 1 (4 months ago) I had my first heart surgery to plug a hole in my heart with a metal device called an Amplatzer Duct Occluder. They also used a balloon to try to open up my narrow aortic valve. The surgery was crucial because the defects had caused my heart to be 2 times its normal size which was caused from over working for so long. I was very high risk for heart failure at any moment.
8 weeks later at my post surgery checkup, my doctor had more tests done on my heart. Once again they found that the ballooning procedure did not take and my valve had already narrowed to where it was before surgery. Another ballooning surgery took place on Friday, April 11, 2014. My doctor was more aggressive with this surgery but told us that my valve is abnormally thick and hard, which prevents it from remaining stretched enough to work properly. It is now a wait and see game as to when my next surgery will be and how long we can put off the valve replacement. Waiting is necessary because I am still a baby and a new valve will not grow with me. I would have to have it replaced each time I hit a growth spurt, plus I will have to be on blood thinners the rest of my life. My next echo is coming up, and it will let us know how the valve is functioning.
In the mean time, I had an appointment with my Pediatric Urologist along with a DMSA Scan on my kidneys. It was determined that my left kidney is severely damaged and needs to be removed ASAP to prevent further damage to my right kidney. We are currently waiting on my cardiologist’s approval to proceed with surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
We are hoping and praying to get all of my health problems fixed so that I can catch up with all the other children my age. I still cannot walk, I tire very easily and I cannot eat enough for my little body to grow properly.
Remember to share my website with your family and friends, the more people that know about my struggles mean the more people that could potentially help me. If you have a question, want to volunteer or attend an upcoming event please send my family a message. You can also donate via a secure form here on my website.
This is my journey so far and even though I am a very tough little girl and have an amazing family, I would appreciate everyone’s prayers.