Concert to help Valley infant
Besides a 5-inch scar running down the right side of his chest, Austin York looks like any other healthy baby boy.
The 8-month-old was born with several heart defects that have required two surgeries, and others in the future.
An ultrasound at 29 weeks spotted the problem and parents Meghann Adams and Scott York learned their baby boy would need surgery soon after birth.
“I let out the worst cry I’ve ever had in my life,” Adams said. “It’s such a rare abnormality. I wanted to stay pregnant at that time so I could keep helping him with his blood flow.”
Austin was born with a single ventricle meaning his right ventricle doesn’t pump blood to his lungs.
When Austin was 5 days old surgeons at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford installed a shunt to redirect blood flow to the lungs.
On Oct. 28, the shunt was removed and a second surgery was performed to repair a leak in the heart’s main valve.
A few days later, Austin went into tachycardia due to continued leaking in the atrioventricular valve.
“He was breathing really heavy and sweating and he was blue,” Adams said.
Adams was told it was not uncommon for valves to leak even after surgery, and doctors put Austin on medication to control it. The family was able to return home to the Gardnerville Ranchos on Nov. 11.
“It’s really scary, but Scott and I try and stay calm and focus on the positive,” Adams said. “As things come up we’ll deal with them.”
As long as the medications can keep the leaky valve in check, Austin won’t need surgery right away. But if it worsens, Austin will be back in the hospital.
“For how long that’s in God’s hands. We don’t know,” Adams said. “Austin is doing really well right now. He looks amazing, he’s got good girth, he’s chunky.”
While at Stanford, Austin was part of a study to discover what causes heart disease in children.
“I’ll never know why it caused a problem for him,” Adams said. “But if it helps other parents avoid something like this in the future that’s why Scott and I agreed to let him be a part of it.”
Adams has stopped working to stay home with Austin and his 2-year-old brother Scotty James.
Although the family has Medicaid and Scott works for a plumbing company, the medical bills and trips to Stanford have added up.
To help the family, Jethro’s Bar & Grill is hosting a benefit Feb. 18.
Reno-based band Livitz Livitz and Soldiers of Dubs perform at 8 p.m. with a $10 cover charge. All door proceeds go to the York family.
“It’s amazing. It’s very generous and thoughtful. I can’t be thankful enough,” Adams said. “It’s been a long eight months, but I’m hoping the next year will be easier.”
A donation account listed under Scott York is available at Bank of America in Minden, account no. 501007301913.
For more information about the benefit, call Jethro’s at 265-2215.
AUSTIN YORK BENEFIT
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 18
Where: Jethro’s Bar & Grill, 1281 Kimmerling Road, Gardnerville
Info: Music by Livitz Livitz
A donation account in the name of Scott York is at Bank of America in Minden No. 501007301913