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Jack, with his Warrior sticker


Jack Morgan Wiggins

June 9th - June 30th, 2021

Before Birth

Jack’s heart story started at our twenty week ultrasound. I waited in the truck with our son, Brooks, while Tiffany went into the ultrasound alone. We had decided that we were not going to find out the gender before she went in.The doctor called me an hour later, with Tiffany crying in the background to explain that there were multiple problems on the ultrasound that were concerning. There was no nasal bone, his kidneys had fluid on them, he was small, had an echogenic bowel, and with the way he was positioned they could not scan his heart. They explained that they were not equipped to handle this situation and we needed to go to a different department called Maternal Fetal Medicine. When Tiffany came out of the hospital the first thing she did was rip open the envelope to find out the gender.

We were sent to Maternal Fetal Medicine for them to get more in depth looks into each issue. For three weeks it felt like non stop appointments and scans. They told us that the only thing that they were concerned about was the size. The rest should resolve on its own. At every scan we were told that they were not able to get a good look at the heart. At the end of the third week Jack finally let them get a look at his heart. We left the appointment not knowing that anything had changed, but a few hours later they called to tell us what they found. What they found was at this point an undiagnosed Congenital Heart Defect. It was decided that they were also not equipped to handle the situation and we would have the best care at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at University of Michigan Ann Arbor.  

At twenty-five weeks pregnant we had our first appointment at C.S. Mott. It was overwhelming. After we figured out where to park, how to get to the correct floor, and how to get to the right department, we finally were at our first appointment. The first appointment was the ultrasound and consultation. During the consultation our fears were confirmed. He was very small (IUGR), still had fluid on his kidneys,  and was missing the nasal bone. All signs of autism or a genetic condition. The undiagnosed heart defect turned out to be a major heart defect called D-Transposition of the Great Arteries. This would require multiple serious open heart surgeries, and some mild surgeries that would start within minutes of him being born. After multiple drawings and diagrams to explain the severity of the situation, we were sent up to our echocardiogram appointment. This is where they took an extremely detailed look at the heart. After this we were placed into another conference room. When the cardiologist came in to explain what the plan would be, they handed us a packet from Conquering CHD and explained that we were not alone. We were told that people travel from all over the world to have their CHD babies at C.S. Mott. They did their best to reassure us, but we were terrified.

For the rest of the pregnancy it was two appointments every week, at minimum, to make sure that both Jack and Tiffany were staying healthy.  Due to his small size Tiff had to go in twice a week for a non stress test. This is where they made sure that Jack’s heartbeat was fine and that Tiffany was not having any contractions. After one of the appointments they explained that we would be having Jack early, at thirty-seven weeks, and that it would be a c-section. The c-section allowed the doctors to control every second of the birth and care directly afterward. We met the surgeon that would be operating on Jack and he seemed very optimistic, as long as Jack was born over four pounds. Now we were just waiting for him to arrive.

We are going to continue Jack’s story as we can, his story is hard to type and will take time. We just hope that this will, in some way, let people in this situation know that they are not alone. If you ever need anything or just need to talk feel free to reach out to us through our email or over facebook. 

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. - Bruce Lee

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