Baby With Rare Heart Syndrome Fights for Life

"The meaning of Skylar meant eternal life, strength, beauty and love, and that's all of her", mother says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Every day is a fight for survival for a 2-week-old baby from McKinney.

    Skylar Ann Turner was born Feb. 16 with half a heart. Skylar was first diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, also known as HLHS, at 20 weeks. It is a syndrome so rare, about 2 in 10,000 babies survive.

    Baby Born With Half a Heart Fights

    [DFW] Baby Born With Half a Heart Fights
    Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, 2-week-old Skylar Turner fights to grow stronger. She'll undergo two more sugeries by the time she's three years old.

    Her parents were faced with three options: Doctors said they could terminate the pregnancy, carry the baby to full term followed by a comfortable death or have her undergo three surgeries.

    Michelle and Lafayette Turner said it was an easy decision -- surgery for Skylar.

    Dr. Eric Mendeloff, a congenital heart surgeon at Medical City Children's Hospital, performed Skylar's first surgery on Feb. 21.

    Since then, the Turners have been keeping a close eye on their growing baby girl in the hospital's cardiac neonatal intensive care unit.

    "Every day is difficult. You literally take it one day at a time. You never know when you come in the next day, did she have a setback, did she move forward?" said Skylar's father. "She has her own little personality. She can be fussy at times, and lets you know when she doesn't want to be bothered with."

    The wait to finally have a mother-daughter bond with her baby was the hardest for Michelle Turner.

    "It seemed like a lifetime or an eternity before I was ever able to hold her because I didn't get to hold her when she was first born, so that was the first time I didn't get to hold her and that feeling was... you can't even put into words, you really can't," she said.

    The Turners say faith and a strong baby help them take it day by day.

    "I believe she's here for a reason. She's made it this far for a reason, so we're going to keep on moving forward," said Lafayette Turner.

    Doctors say Skylar will undergo at least two more surgeries. The next one comes when she is between 4 and 6 months old. The final surgery will happen when she's 3 years old.