Miracle Monday│ Meet 3-year-old Phillip, who suffered a major heart condition

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 1:05 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Today is Miracle Monday, and we’ve partnered with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia to share their stories of hope and inspiration.

The hospital is a place where miracles happen. Thousands of kids walk through these halls every year to receive special care right here in Augusta.

It’s the only regional children’s hospital outside of Atlanta where kids in Georgia can come to receive care.

They have the highest level neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit alongside Atlanta, which means they have the ability to help the sickest kids.

Dr. Valera Hudson pediatrician-in-chief for the hospital. She says what distinguishes the Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the people who work there, and the consistent compassion and care they have for every child who walks through their doors.

“Kids are very resilient and that’s why it’s so much fun to work with kids because they can be very very sick, but after getting their care they can bounce back and be running the halls, so that’s very rewarding for our staff,” Hudson said.

Chris and Ann Kenny became apart of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia family three years ago. At 20 weeks there were concerns about the way the blood was flowing in the baby’s heart.

“So he couldn’t tell certainly what was going on because the heart was too small, but he knew we needed to be referred to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia,” said Chris Kenny and Ann Kenny, Philip’s parents.

They learned their fourth son Philip had a major heart condition.

“It’s a total gut punch,” they said. “We didn’t know what his future would look like, if it was possible he would even survive to be born, or make it through the surgeries he was going to have to go through.”

They had to wait until he was born before they could evaluate his heart. Philip was born eight weeks early at 3 pounds and 2 ounces.

“Their goal at that point couldn’t be getting him to surgery, it was keeping him alive. For the first week he really really hung on the absolute sort of edge of life and death,” they said.

Philip spent two months in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit. He had his first heart surgery when he weighed 5 pounds.

“He had several serious critical congenital heart defects that had to be corrected and so there weren’t any other options, we say to each other, the only way out is through the fire,” they said.

This was the first step to allow his heart to grow and be healthy enough for an even bigger surgery.

“We were going to stay as positive as we could and just see everything as a blessing. Which is tough because when you’re in a dark place and you don’t know if your child is going to live to the next day you have to fight to find the hope,” they said.

When he was eight months old Philip had a full open heart surgery. Now blood was able to flow correctly from his heart to his lungs.

“Philip wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this hospital and the amazing people who work here, we’re so lucky,” they said.

Now Philip’s parents say they can focus on the future and not live hour by hour.

“Now we get to focus on things like him starting pre-school and him learning his letters and now he is. This wild rambunctious 3-year-old who gets to be a kid like everyone else,” they said.

Philip’s heart is fixed but not cured. He will continue to have appointments and check-ups as he gets older. Children’s Hospital of Georgia relies heavily on support from the community to help make these miracles possible.

To donate, visit https://www.augustahealth.org/give/miraclemonday or call 706-721-4004.

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