Baby Robin McDermott was born with a rare birth defect found in one out of every 10,000 people: she was born with half a heart. Known as pulmonary atresia, the condition affects the heart by not allowing blood to flow to it, or in Robin’s case, allowing blood to flow only to one side.
Robin’s parents, Mallory Talbot and Robert McDermott of Greenwood, were given news that their unborn child was to be born with this disease only a couple of months into the pregnancy. After being told Robin would require at least three heart surgeries before the age of 3, Mallory and Robert were panicked and stressed.
For the first four months of her life, the family took Robin to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia every other week. Her first surgery, in Philadelphia, took place when she was only one week old. Her second procedure took place at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, when she was four months old. Now, at 10 months, baby Robin is doing well.
She’s a little miracle, her mother said, but she still has more surgeries in her future.
The current step is to attempt to get the right half of Robin’s heart to grow by getting blood to flow into it. Steps have been taken, and the family has an appointment in Philadelphia in March to discuss the progress.
Robin, who will be a year old in April, is extremely lively and certainly not bashful. While at home, baby Robin won’t be found watching cartoons. Instead, she likes to play with her brother Eli’s action figures.
Last year Mallory and Robert hosted a fundraiser, ‘Rally for Robin,’ at the Green Turtle in Lewes. The proceeds have helped the family with medical costs over the past year. While no fundraiser is planned, the family is going to attend a race in Philadelphia put on by the Children’s Heart Foundation May 11 at the Philadelphia Zoo. The proceeds will be used for research.
Mallory has stated that, while nothing is in the works yet, she wants to start a nonprofit organization in baby Robin’s name. February is American Heart Month. National Wear Red Day was Feb. 1.