Doctors use new approach to help boy born with rare heart defect - FOX 35 News Orlando

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Doctors use new approach to help boy born with rare heart defects

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Noah Smith found out early on that everyone can use a little superhero power sometimes. When his mom was 22 weeks pregnant, doctors spotted a hole in Noah's heart. He would need surgery as soon as he was born to fix it-- but that wasn't the only challenge he'd have to face.

Fast-forward to the Blizzard of 2009. That's when Noah came into the world, and doctors at Children's National Health System then detected a second rare heart defect.  He had his first operation when he was just 13 days old.

Doctors waited until he was 18 months to operate on the second heart defect. Noah's parents were told there was only a 10 percent chance his heart could be fixed and he would avoid any future open heart surgeries.

Thankfully, Dr. Richard Jonas was able to successfully repair Noah's heart! Now, all he will need is a new valve when he reaches his late teens or early 20s.

Noah's condition is one that has only been diagnosed a few times in the world. Dr. Jonas' approach to helping him was new and innovative, and it has led to journal articles-- which will be used to teach other physicians how to address a similar condition.

Noah is now 4, and he took part in last year's Race for Every Child on his own team, Noah's Heart Heroes. Their team's shirts featured an Iron Man emblem-- since the comic book character had a heart problem, too. Noah loves Iron Man (and other super heroes), and though his condition wasn't exactly the same as the one the Marvel Comics character had, Noah developed a strong attachment based on the similarities.

We'd argue Noah resembles a superhero, too!

Want to help kids just like Noah?  There IS something you can do!  Make a donation to this year's Race for Every Child, or register to take part in the race on Saturday, September 13!  CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.


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