Born with 3 heart defects, Lowcountry mom says son's life is a miracle

Jacob Gentry (Provided by family)

A Lowcountry mother says the emotional story of her her sick child's fight is a testament to the care provided by doctors at MUSC Children's Hospital.

Six years ago, Meagen Gentry found out she was pregnant with her first child Jacob. The excitement of welcoming her new baby quickly took a turn.

"They kind of had to warn me there was a high chance he could be born stillborn and prepare for that, and if he survives birth, he would need immediate surgery to essentially save his life," said Gentry. "You don't really go in expecting to hear news like that."

Jacob was born with three heart defects. He had his first open heart surgery when he was just 1 week old. That was only the beginning.

"This is one of those situations where when people tell you numbers like 1 in 800,000, we were that one," said Gentry.

Before Jacob turned 3 years old, he had a total of 5 surgeries: three open heart, two stomach, Gentry says.

"He had a permanent feeding tube at 4 weeks old and it was taken out at 15 months old," said Gentry.

Gentry says there were times she and doctors didn't think Jacob was going to make it.

"Each surgery, you have that fear. Each procedure, each new news you get from the doctor, there's that fear that this is the last time we're gonna see him," said Gentry.

Jacob's last surgery was almost four years ago.

"Every little thing he does, or every birthday we reach is something we didn't think we were gonna have, so it almost makes everything he gives us that much more special," said Gentry.

Gentry says Jacob may need a heart transplant in the future, but today he's a normal six year old boy.

"Every day that hes alive is a blessing. It's not something we thought we would get. Every day we get is extra," said Gentry.

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