Local baby becomes the youngest patient in the world to receive a surgical Potts Shunt

Local News

Heart surgeries are never easy nor simple especially when the patient who was receiving them was only three and half months old.

Desmond Coleman came home as a normal, healthy baby.

After two short weeks he was rushed to the emergency room for what was thought to be just a cold.

After a biopsy Desmond’s mother, Dawana Bridges quickly found out it was much worse.

“It turned out that the blood vessels in both his lungs we’re small, it was like a tree in the fall, it was brittle,” said Bridges.

With his oxygen levels at 33 percent he was put on a machine called ECMO for 19 days.

Without it he wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“A lot of hospitals turned us down because it was risky even moving him, it was in his main artery and if you moved him the wrong was he could have died. They told us numerous times that he wasn’t going to make it,” said Bridges.

They found themselves traveling to the Heart Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to get a lung transplant.

Which would only give him a 50 percent chance of living.

That didn’t stop Demetris Coleman, Desmond’s father from trying.

“A lot of people we’re just like he’s suffering, you might just want to let him go, but I was like no this is my child, I just knew I had to be strong, I had to be the back bone for my family, I just couldn’t give up,” said Coleman.

Things changed when they got to the hospital. Instead baby Desmond became the youngest patient in the world to have a surgical Potts Shunt.

This would to improve the blood flow to his heart and also buy more time for Desmond to grow stronger for a lung transplant.

Desmond’s parents say the surgery was a success.

“He’s living, he’s breathing, he’s functional, you see he’s a happy baby, he’s smiling, he plays and that’s all I wanted,” said Coleman.

Desmond in now 7 months old and is slowly improving but he still has nurses who come and monitor him on a daily basis.

In the meantime Desmond is still an active member on the lung transplant list.

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