The Katie Herb Foundation, Inc.
233 Walton Street
Lemoyne, Pennsylvania 17043
About Katie Herb
Katie was diagnosed in-utero at our 23 week ultrasound with HLHS with an intact atrial septum. We were told at that time about the different options we had, a heart transplant, a series of 3 open heart surgeries, or compassionate care. After meeting with a pediatric cardiologist and the surgeon we learned that because of the intact atrial septum Katie was not a good candidate for the surgeries, which is the most common treatment. The intact atrial septum significantly increased the mortality associated with the HLHS surgeries. We were told that she may not even make it through the delivery and if she did she would most likely pass away within 48 hours. After a lot of research and tons of discussion we decided to provide compassionate care for Katie.
Katie was born on Friday, June 22, 2007 at Harrisburg Hospital. She was 3 ½ weeks early. Much to our surprise our little girl made it past 48 hours, which shocked us all even the doctors. At that point the neonatologist suggested we do an echocardiogram. The findings were consistent with the original diagnosis. However, they found a rare abnormality with the anatomy of her heart, she had a decompressing vertical vein that was allowing blood to flow from the lungs without significant obstruction. This did not change the diagnosis it just allowed Katie to be with us longer than we anticipated. The doctors could not predict how long she would have.
After spending 5 days in the NICU with Katie we decided to take her home. We were so unprepared to bring her home. The only things we had were a crib, dresser, and changing table. The NICU was wonderful, they gave us all the things we would need to take care of Katie and they even lent us a car seat to take her home. We were able to spend 17 wonderful days with Katie. She passed away in our arms in the early morning on July 9, 2007.
Jason and Denise Herb