The Hively Family: Nathan & Alex's Story
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
When Tori Hively found out she was pregnant with twins, she knew her pregnancy wouldn’t quite be an ordinary one. After discovering both babies had complex congenital heart defects that would require surgery after they were born, the family’s excitement for adding two new family members suddenly came with a little extra worry.
The Hively family turned to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian / St. Luke’s (RMHC) for their babies’ care, and two and half years later, they have the expert team at the Center for Maternal Fetal Health to thank for the health of their boys - Nathan and Alex.
A prenatal ultrasound determined Nathan and Alex both had unique complex congenital heart defects. Nathan was diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare birth defect affecting the heart and other organs that causes an underdeveloped heart and potential displacement of organs in the chest and abdomen. Alex was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, a condition that caused a thickened pulmonary valve that obstruction blood flow from his heart to his lungs.
Doctors and support staff at the Center for Maternal Fetal Health kept close watch of both mother and babies, and oversaw Nathan and Alex’s safe delivery at RMHC’s Level IV neonatal intensive care unit.
Nathan and Alex’s Surgical Care
Dr. Samuel Brescia, Dr. Steven Leonard and Dr. David Miller served as the heads of Nathan and Alex’s surgical care team that included numerous doctors, nurses and staff members across the RMHC organization. “There were so many people who took care of our boys, and everyone went out of their way to make sure we felt comfortable and informed,” said Tori.
Dr. Leonard and Dr. Miller performed two heart surgeries and a pulmonary heart catheterization on Nathan when he was two and seven months old. After his first surgery, complications caused Nathan’s heart to twice go into cardiac arrest, a scary moment for any mother.
Not only did the team at RMHC calmly revive Nathan while simultaneously keeping the Hively family informed of the exact steps of the procedure, in only six weeks, Nathan was home from the hospital and on the road to recovery.
Dr. Leonard also repaired Alex’s Tetralogy of Fallot when he was four months old, and performed the procedure with such perfection that he was able to completely save the pulmonary valve and eliminate the need for additional heart surgeries.
“We are just so thankful for all the physicians at RMHC’s expertise with both our boys,” said Tori. “Even when Nathan went into cardiac arrest and before Alex’s surgery, the entire team made us feel confident and comfortable in their abilities to keep the twins healthy.”
Happy, Healthy (and Busy) Boys
Even in the most nerve-wracking situations, the Center for Maternal Fetal Health team of doctors, nurses and caregivers made the Hively family feel like an extension of their own. From the everyday small gestures to their surgical care, the Hivelys couldn’t have asked for a better team to take care of Nathan and Alex.
“Whenever there was a scary situation, everyone on the team took extra time to smile and let us know that everything was going to be fine,” said Tori. “We just received such excellent care, from the doctors and surgeons in the pediatric intensive care unit to the nursing staff, we have the entire team to thank for giving us our little boys back.”
Now two and half years old, happy and healthy, Nathan and Alex are hitting all of their developmental milestones and keeping their parents busy as ever!