Paisley Cunningham 

CHD: HLHS Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Surgeries: 2

Paisley is 4. Unless you see her “zipper” you have no idea she’s battling a critical heart defect, born with just one half her heart, but unstoppable in daily life. At 2 days old she had trouble eating and then breathing. She was flown by plane in a pressure chamber to MUSC and diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart, HLHS. The left ventricle is severely underdeveloped and non-functional. This Critical Heart Defect is not one that can be fixed or repaired but 3-stage surgery procedure alters her anatomy to use just the right half. That 1st open heart surgery that would help her grown and sustain 7 mos, until she was ready for her stage 2 surgery that rerouted some veins to her lungs for increased ability to get oxygen to her body. She doesn’t have as much oxygen in her blood as normal, 80% instead of 100% but unless she’s playing hard and it’s hot or cold you’d never know. That 3rd surgery is planned for next summer. We just keep on hanging tough, that’s what she does!