Born with a rare heart defect, a young Carthage girl just underwent another major surgery at Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester and is showing everyone she's quite the little fighter. YNN's Cristina Domingues has the story.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- When Brenna Flynn was born in August of 2012, her mother Kiley Taylor had no idea she was sick.
"You're expecting this beautiful little being and she comes out beautiful. And then shortly after we find out how ill she is and we were given very grim, very grim news," Taylor said.
Brenna was born in Carthage, N.Y. Taylor says nurses and doctors quickly realized she wasn't breathing well and her heart wasn't pumping blood as it should. She was sent to Syracuse for medical help and a few days, later came to Golisano Children's Hospital in Rochester.
"We came here in her 11th day of life and on her 12th day, we met Dr. Alfieris and had her first major heart surgery. That was kind of a rebirth day. That was the first day we were given hope," Taylor said.
"He said after her first surgery, he was really impressed because sometimes they have to re-start the heart when they brought her back up to temperature, it just took off on its own. He knew she was fighter then," said Zack Flynn, Brenna's mother.
Brenna was born with no aortic arch, which is a major part of her heart, and truncus arteriosus, which means she had only one instead of two blood vessels coming out of her heart. Only a few weeks old, she had her first open heart surgery. This week she had her second.
Taylor said, "He did a lot of repair work. He had to replace artificial parts that were placed in for her initial surgery. He had to replace those with larger one to accommodate her growth. She does have a new pig valve, which is pretty interesting."
Taylor and Flynn say they've been able to stay strong because of the enormous support from family, friends, hospital staff and the community.
Take Brenna's little green elephant. Taylor says it was a gift from a friend at Maddie's Mark Foundation, founded in honor of Maddie Musto who died of an inoperable brain stem tumor. The foundation that tries to create the 'best days ever' for children suffering from major illness, even held a birthday party for Brenna.
"We're looking at hopefully a few year reprieve before we have to do this again. And she looks fabulous, she's peaceful."
Brenna still has other surgeries ahead to correct some physical deformities. But Taylor says she's doing remarkably well after this second surgery and the hope is this time she goes home after only a few weeks instead of months.
Taylor said, "Grateful for every day we have with her, grateful for each and every second we have. We have far exceeded our expectations and now to have so much hope and be told we can live a little normal for a couple years is pretty spectacular. Can't ask for anything more than that."