Casey Dyke has been told he is a mended little miracle. When his mother Gina was pregnant, a routine ultrasound and further prenatal testing at UC Davis Health revealed that her unborn son had a missing tricuspid valve (a congenital heart defect known as tricuspid atresia). He would need a series of surgeries to repair the defect after birth. Now 16-years-old, Casey lives a normal teenage life as he pursues photography, engineering and a promising future.
I kind of want to pursue photography. Maybe not in a professional extent, but like a little bit more than a hobby. But the 18 week ultrasound we were just trying to find out if he was going to be a boy or a girl. And then the technician. Uh I kind of saw some signs of issues with the heart. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. He was 10 days old when he had the first surgery. And then they actually had to go back in Um less than 24 hours later and do another one. The whole first years was going home for three days, going back for a week, going home for a week, going back for two days. Um Any little thing um would cause us to need to go because his oxygen levels weren't um weren't high enough. The focus when we have a sick child is family centered and patient centered care. There's an enormous amount of support that we have to give these families when they first present to us and babies are born and then through the piri operative period and then after surgery as well. Dr ralf did all his surgeries. I don't know when he slept. I don't think he did. I still don't know if he does. He really helped us with what we were going through as new parents. It seemed like he was there only for Casey and that was really honestly something that really touched us and that's why we consider him a superhero. Now we've had perfect care. It's really hard I think to be in their shoes. But we have to do the best we can. You know, the kind of care we want to provide to the Children we care for is the care we want for our kids Time just went by so fast. He's 16 now. I don't think about the pain and the suffering that we went through, but we just look at the good times, 90% of people would never know by looking at him what he's been through, what he still has to go through. I don't really think I have technical limitations really. I just have a condition that kind of makes me a little bit worse at physical activity. I'm kind of just a little bit under but I can still rise above.