Clark Ostrom was born in 2015 at just 36 weeks. His mom, Carissa Ostrom, said they had no idea he had a bicuspid Aortic Valve and Aortic Stenosi heart defect. He went through his first procedure and balloon valvuloplasty (a cath procedure where they take a balloon and rip open the valve). Carissa then connected with nearby American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Luke Lamers, who leads the pediatric catheterization team.
Carissa followed up with Dr. Lamers every six months. Dr. Lamers said he kept a close eye on Clark’s heart, and when Clark turned five, they noticed the balloon valve becoming more dysfunctional. So, they decided to do a Ross procedure, essentially playing musical chairs with the valves in Clark’s heart. They removed the aortic valve and replace it with the pulmonary valve and then place a cadaver donor valve in for the pulmonary valve. It was a very long 8-10 hour surgery.
Clark ended up needing to go back into surgery to receive a pacemaker. The pacemaker was placed in his abdomen; this happens in pediatric patients to help preserve the use of the heart’s arteries for later use as an adult. We let him play soccer, we let him wrestle with his brothers, we let him do all these things that a normal kid gets to do because that’s definitely how you want him to be treated. Clark is now a happy, healthy kid rocking his scar and showing everyone how he is iron man.