Marissa, 5 year-old from Aransas Pass, Texas

Marissa is a miracle baby!

Heart defects were detected early in the pregnancy of Marissa’s mom but determined to fight for her baby’s life, she made important decisions to follow. At 20 weeks in the pregnancy, her mom started visiting pediatric geneticist Dr. Raymond Lewandowski and pediatric cardiologist Dr. John Pliska for fetal echo-cardiograms which helped them determine how they could take care of Marissa’s fragile heart.

Two hours after birth, Marissa was ready to go for a life saving procedure at DCH’s operating room with pediatric cardiovascular surgeons Dr. Mark Morales and Dr. Mark Bielefeld. She required a pacemaker as she was diagnosed with congenital heart block, making her the very first baby in South Texas to receive a pacemaker at this age thanks to Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

Since her procedure, Marissa continues to visit DCH every three months for follow up appointments with her physicians. Marissa’s recovery and experience have been a long journey filled with so many memories; memories that her mom continues to register in Marissa’s life journal. Marissa’s parents appreciate all of her family’s support and friends at DCH who continue to touch her heart with tender loving care.