Giving Compass' Take:

• Seattle Children's tells the story of an infant named Rowen, who was born with a ventricular septal defect (essentially a hole in his heart), which required a rare procedure to fix. Thankfully, Rowen is now healthy and reaching his development milestones at three months old.

• Is pediatric cardiology getting enough research support? Defects such as the one Rowen had affects about three in every 1,000 babies.

• When it comes to newborn health, we should also think globally. Here's an article about the needs of newborns in West Africa.

When Chelsie McKinney, her husband, and their two boys welcomed baby Rowen into the world in November 2017, they thought he was “absolutely perfect.”

“He was a big, strong and beautiful boy,” McKinney said. “We counted his fingers and toes like all parents do, and he seemed perfectly healthy. We were so excited to bring him home.”

However, before Rowen was discharged from the hospital, doctors noticed he had a heart murmur. An echocardiogram indicated he had a hole in the wall between the lower two chambers of his heart, which is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). A VSD is the most common heart birth defect, and about three in every 1,000 babies are born with it.

At just a little more than 1 day old, Rowen was taken by ambulance to Seattle Children’s.

“It was scary, and a lot to digest so suddenly,” McKinney said. “We didn’t know what his future would hold. But even with all of the unknowns, we found comfort in knowing he was going to the best hospital where he would be in good hands.”

In some children, a VSD may close on its own over time if it’s small enough. In other cases, if it’s large or in a difficult position, surgery is eventually required to repair it and prevent congestive heart failure. For babies who require heart surgery, it’s safer to allow them time to develop and grow before they undergo surgery. Babies with a VSD typically have a repair around 4 to 6 months of age.

Read the full article about Rowen's hybrid heart procedure by Alyse Bernal at Seattle Children's On the Pulse blog.