Everest Young is a spunky 2-year-old, whether she's watching her favorite TV shows, playing or giving one of her signature hugs. But in her short life, Everest has lived up to her name, moving mountains with the help of Arkansas Children's to reach a healthier life.
“I think now her name, Everest, just speaks to all the mountains she’s going to have to climb that she’s already overcome, even in her two short years,” said her mother, Taylor Young.
Everest's journey all started with an ultrasound. Taylor Young scrolled through ultrasound photos with excitement, texting her husband proud mom things, like "Where'd she get these long toes?"
But soon after, the doctor revealed an adverse prenatal diagnosis – Down Syndrome, a missing nasal bridge, short femurs and an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), a hole in her heart.
"That's when I just lost it," Young said. "We knew that Down Syndrome couldn't be changed, we're going to love her no matter what, but her heart, that was going to have to be fixed. That's scary."
Dr. Kevin Hinkle, M.D., an Arkansas Children’s pediatric cardiologist, performed her surgery at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) in Little Rock and monitored her regularly, transitioning her care to Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) when it opened in 2018, which was closer to the family’s home in Northwest, Ark. The narrowing of Everest’s blood vessels improved, but “she did have a hole in her heart,” he said.
At 4 months old, Everest had open-heart surgery on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. The surgery was a success.
Dr. Hinkle, who sees Everest about once a year, said he expects her to have “no physical limitations” in the future.
"Since Arkansas Children's Northwest has opened, it's been really convenient for our family," Young said. "Every time she's admitted, or if we just need to come up here for an appointment, it's much closer than Little Rock."
Thanks to Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Everest has the same continued compassionate care but closer to home.
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Specialists at Arkansas Children’s Heart Institute provide expert diagnosis and treatment of both acquired and congenital heart diseases.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital provides expert diagnosis and treatment for atrial septal defect.