Messages From the Heart

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I read "Makenna's Heart" [September 3] with great interest.

Thirty-seven years ago, our son Jeff was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He died two days later. The doctors asked if they could perform an autopsy. Although it was a difficult decision, we felt the only way progress would be made in treating this condition was for the doctors to actually see what it entailed, so we agreed. The result of Makenna Franks's surgery made me feel that we indeed made the right decision. I wish her a healthy and fruitful life.

M. Christina Hasenbein


Anthem, Ariz.  

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome has also been treated for a long time by Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. The three-stage surgery is not a permanent fix; it was a fix to make the child's own heart last as long as possible. My son is 17½ years old with his own heart. I know a 22-year-old girl with her own heart. There are still doctors in this country who do not recommend the risky, three-stage surgery. Please do more stories. Every one of these special kids has a unique story. As a parent of one of these children, I've learned a lot about life and living.

Teresa Okeson-Prater


Cottage Grove, Minn.