Heart is healed by two surgeries at Schneider

Two successful surgeries at Schneider Children’s Hospital (SCH) to correct a heart defect mean that 8-year-old Chantal Waldron, who is from Trinidad, will now be able to play without limitations.
Waldron was born with tricuspid Artesia, which is a condition where the tricuspid valve is missing and the right side of the heart is smaller than it should be. Patients with this condition typically have low levels of oxygen in their bloodstream.
“[In] children that are born with tricuspid Artesia that entire valve is absent. It’s just a closed door,” said Dr. Vincent Parnell, Surgeon-in-Chief and Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at SCH. “So the blood has to flow through a hole in the heart to the left side of the heart. The blue blood and the oxygen-rich blood have to mix and then it gets pumped out into the main blood stream.”
Waldron had her first surgery at SCH in 2005 and then returned to Trinidad. The Rotary Club’s Gift of Life program arranged for her to come to the United States and she and her mother, Marcelle Baptiste, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.
When it came time for Waldron to return to the United States for a second surgery, her mother ran into problems as she tried to get the needed medical reports. Determined to get her daughter the necessary help, Baptiste contacted her local media and was given the necessary information shortly thereafter.
“The first time that Chantal came here I had a daughter that would turn blue and pull out the hair from her head. It was very hard for us as a family to see this happening to Chantal,” Baptiste said. She continued, “She’s doing great. She’s starting to play around. She’s doing very well and I’m so grateful to everyone.”
Parnell said that Waldron “should have an excellent quality of life” and that she will be monitored by doctors in Trinidad. He also said that there is a possibility she will need to take medication in the future.
“She will be able to do virtually all the things that she would like to do as she grows and develops into adulthood,” Parnell said.
Waldron extended her thanks to all of the people who helped her. She said that she is most looking forward to playing with her younger sister and brother with dolls and toy cars and trucks when she gets back to Trinidad.
“She’s going to have a ball,” Baptiste said.

More from Around New York