Christina Deshaw and her husband, Brad Weitl, were expecting twins. During the 18 week ultrasound one of the twins, Ava, was diagnosed with HLHS. Christina got home from this appointment, did some research online and quickly learned that her daughter had just been dianosed with a serious congenital heart defect. She then made a phone call to Dr. Benjamin Eiden, a pediatric cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A few weeks after consulting with Dr. Eidem, Ava was diagnosed with Restricitive Atrial Septum (RAS), which dropped the success rate of the Norwood from about 90% to 50%, according to Deshaw's blog, Ava Grace Life with an Extraordinary Heart.
The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.