“I think it’s a real miracle that Seth lived as long as he did with his old heart.”
– Dr. Thomas Young, pediatric cardiologist, Ochsner Hospital for Children
Seth Turner was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a complex and rare heart defect in which the left side of his heart was critically underdeveloped. Living with only two heart chambers functioning rather than the normal four, this condition can have a 100% fatality rate within the first year of life with a vast majority of patients dying within the first few months after birth.
As with most babies who are diagnosed with this congenital disorder, Seth underwent a series of three open-heart surgeries all by the age of three.
In and out of the hospital his entire young life, his condition continued to deteriorate. In June 2011, his family relocated from Clinton, LA, so that Seth could receive cardiac care from Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans, the only facility in Louisiana with a pediatric heart transplant program.
Merely 9-years-old when he arrived at Ochsner, his medical team placed him on a vigorous intravenous therapy (IV) medication to keep his heart beating. Finding a suitable donor heart was made more difficult by Seth's small size, his blood type and antibodies in his blood against other people that he developed due to prior blood transfusions.
On two occasions Seth received offers of a potential heart, but due to being too sick to undergo surgery, the offer was declined. On June 17, 2014, three years after moving to New Orleans, Seth finally received a new heart.
Over the years, Seth became somewhat of a celebrity around the hospital with his big personality and comical remarks.
Ochsner Hospital for Children recently hosted a surprise 13th birthday party to celebrate a special little boy who beat the odds of survival.
Click here to watch Seth’s special moment.