Child heart patient makes trip to new hospital

June 9, 2012 9:00:58 PM PDT
Taking a trip in an ambulance to the new Lurie Children's Hospital isn't half as daunting as the life-threatening conditions many of the children are facing and fighting. For the Phillips family, it's another step in an overwhelming journey they never expected to make.

Saturday's trip was nothing like they experienced last March.

Isaiah Phillips came into the world with all the right parts, but technically-speaking his heart was in the wrong place.

To his family's surprise, he was born with a rare condition called ectopic cordis. His heart was nearly outside his chest which had not formed properly.

His grandmother was there from the beginning.

"The baby was holding his arm over his chest like he was protecting it," said Martha Phillips. "It was really heart breaking."

Isaiah was rushed to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. It was his first ride in an ambulance.

Saturday was a whole different trip.

At about two and a half months old, Isaiah was propped up and wide eyed taking it all in as he was transported by ambulance again, this time to the new Lurie Children's Hospital.

It was a smooth trip which took less than 10 minutes.

"He was all excited about he wasn't crying it was like wow," Isaiah's father, Steven Phillips said.

Just a week and a half ago, Isaiah had surgery at the old hospital.

A defect in his heart was repaired and then surgeons came up with a plan to bring his chest wall to where it needed to be.

Metal devices implanted in his body will very slowly bring the bones together.

"So three times a day we turn the little screw, one above and one below, and that brings the sternum together and once that is together we will permanently put it together," said surgeon Dr. Carl Backer.

Dr. Backer is proud of the cutting edge procedures, such as Isaiah's, performed at the old location, but he said this new facility will allow for even more advanced medicine.

"This is a dramatically improved environment for taking care of patients," he said.

Isaiah Phillips is now moved in and he'll be here for many weeks to come.

While family members are thrilled with the private room and the amazing view, they are looking forward to one more trip.

"Eventually going home," Isaiah's mother, Sandra Phillips said. "That would be nice."

Doctors say Isaiah will undergo one more surgery to remove the metal devices and permanently fix the sternum.

He's expected to make a full recovery and live a long healthy life.


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