Baby battles heart problem
When Brynn Meth was born on Jan. 16 she looked like a healthy baby girl, except she was jaundiced.
She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 inches long. After spending a couple of days in the hospital, Brynn and her mother, Jasmine Bartrow Meth was released to go home.
Jasmine was diagnosed with preeclampsia during the pregnancy, said Blanca Babcock, Jasmine’s mother. When Jasmine was sent home, Blanca and her son-in-law Konnor Meth were helping with Brynn.
On the third morning Babcock gave Brynn a bath. During the bath she noticed something with Brynn’s chest area.
“When I took the baby’s clothes off I seen all of the breast area was sunken in deep,” Blanca said. “I gave her a bath and gave her something to eat. He [Konnor] said she didn’t eat a whole lot but she ate so you really couldn’t tell that there was major distress right away. I just thought we’ll watch her and when Jasmine gets up or I get Jasmine up I’ll have her look.”
Shortly after Jasmine woke up, Blanca said. Jasmine said she noticed it in the hospital but nothing was said at the hospital. They decided to keep an eye on Brynn. Blanca went to get dinner that evening and by the time she got back Jasmine said Brynn’s chest was sunken in deeper.
Brynn was taken to Washington County Hospital first. After lab work and X-rays the decision was made to transfer Brynn to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and Clinics because the X-rays showed Brynn’s heart was enlarged, Blanca said.
“When we got there to the ER they did a work up and took the baby to the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit],” Blanca said. “They did some ultrasounds there and when he [the doctor] was done with that he told her [Jasmine] there was a very serious problem.”
Brynn was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome at first, Babcock said. Brynn was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit [PICU] and more tests were done. Doctor’s found the left side of Brynn’s heart wasn’t fully developed completely and her aorta was narrowed.
Brynn was transferred to the heart cath lab to have I.V.s put in for further testing, Babcock said. Doctor’s came out afterward and diagnosed Brynn with a birth defect known as left heart aortic heart syndrome, which leaves holes in the heart that usually close up a couple of days after birth, Babcock said.
A surgeon reviewed Brynn’s information and decided to do surgery right away. Donor tissue was used to try to fix the aortic arch and a few valves were repaired to try to take the pressure off of the right side of the heart, which was enlarged, Babcock said.
Brynn was on life support until after her first surgery. She weaned off but a couple of days ago doctor’s noticed Brynn’s heart and breathing were becoming irregular so she was put back on life support, Babcock said.
No one has been able to hold Brynn since she was admitted to the hospital.
“You can’t hold her now,” Babcock said. “She’s in a crib and on life support. Jasmine will rub her head and talk to her and Brynn will respond. She’ll open her eyes and look at you when she hears you speaking.”
Konnor and Jasmine are doing as best as they can.
“Jasmine won’t leave the baby,” Babcock said. “She stays in the room with her. Konnor stays in a room at the Ronald McDonald house.”
Brynn will need two more surgeries at least to repair the defects in her heart, Babcock said. She will remain in the hospital until further notice.
“This is extremely sad and very hard,” Babcock said.
Babcock hasn’t been able to go up to the hospital for a couple of days but speaks to Jasmine daily.
Thirteen-year-old Layla Al-Husainawi is Jasmine’s half sister. She said as Brynn’s aunt she’s trying to do as much as she can to help. She came up with an idea to help her sister and brother-in-law.
“It was my idea to put the [donation] cans around town,” she said. “We have them in a lot of places around town. I also asked my principal at school [Washington Middle School] if I could put up a flyer in the teacher’s lounge.”
Konnor was the only one working and hasn’t been working since Brynn was admitted to the hospital so the couple doesn’t have much, Babcock said. The family is asking for donations for Brynn’s medical expenses and for other needs such as a meal card to the hospital’s cafeteria while the parents are staying there.
A donation fund has been set up through Federation Bank in Washington called the Brynn Aspen Meth Benefit fund, Babcock said. Babcock is also asking for help with holding a dinner and silent auction for her granddaughter.
Any help would be appreciated,” Babcock said.