This fifth year is an extra special Big Hearts to Little Hearts annual walk for Our Not So Average Joe Team! On August 18, 2023, we will be celebrating Joe’s most recent 1st heart-iversary for his open heart surgery that provided his Fontan circulation; where all oxygen-poor blood sent from his one working ventricle returns directly to his pulmonary artery instead of through his heart chambers.
As you may know, Joseph David Morris was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS, a severe congenital heart defect (CHD) in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. He has undergone several intense cardiac procedures throughout his life including three open heart surgeries (OHS): first, the Norwood, when Joe was 4 days old (January 28, 2019), second, the Glenn, when Joey was 4.5 months old (June 11, 2019) and third, the Fontan, when Joey was 3.5 years old (August 18, 2022).
Patients with Fontan circulation are referred to as single ventricle patients. As these patients get older, doctors are recognizing that, while some do fine, many experience complications. These complications can include lung, liver, and gastrointestinal diseases.
While we do not know what’s next for our Joey, we can tell you that his subtle humor is entertaining, his eagerness to please is unmatched and his unique, man-made heart is kind, sensitive and loves boundlessly!
We walk to raise awareness that pediatric cardiology advancements and research are essential to keep Joey and children with CHD alive and thriving. Joey would not be gracing this Earth with his loving, funny, smart, admirable ways if it weren’t for the Cardiac Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Let’s keep making strides together.
“Sometimes the things we can’t change, end up changing us.”