Father and Newborn Daughter Battle Supravalvular Aortic Stenosis Together
September 14, 2015
Courtney and Douglas Scholz never thought their five-month-old baby girl would have to have open-heart surgery.
“Amelia was born with a murmur that they found at her two month checkup,” said her father, Douglas Scholz.
That murmur led to doctors diagnosing Amelia with Supravalvular aortic stenosis, a heart disease that affects 1 in 20,000 children at birth.
“We’re told that it was not hereditary and it was a very slim chance that she might have a heart problem,” Douglas said.
That’s because Douglas has the same condition. At the age of 31, he has already had open-heart surgery and other heart procedures.
Shortly before Amelia’s procedure, her father will have to have the same procedure.
“His will be a complete reconstruction of the aorta, so that top part of the heart,” said his wife Courtney.
Traveling to hospitals in Chapel Hill and Durham for countless visits is expensive and the Scholz have thousands of dollars in medical debt.
Douglas’ surgery will leave him in the hospital to recover for two to four weeks and out of work for nearly three months. He will then stay home again, once Amelia is home from the hospital.
While the diagnosis is life-changing and they know the challenges they will face for the rest of Amelia’s life, they are staying positive and they want to raise awareness for this rare heart disease.
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