Peyton’s Parents Give Hope to CHD Community

In her 12 days of life, Peyton Rae Brean showed her parents, Lisa and Corey Brean, spunk, sass, love, and strength. Her personality radiated inside the NICU, and her parents cherished every moment spent inside those four walls.

“I read somewhere once that ‘instead of teaching my daughter about the world, I would have to teach the world about my daughter.’”

Corey Brean

That’s exactly why the Brean family started a fundraiser for Conquering CHD, to honor Peyton’s name, tell the world about how much they love her, explain what kind of daughter and person she was, and prevent other CHD families from experiencing the pain and isolation they felt at the beginning of their CHD journey.

At 20 weeks gestation, Peyton was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), which consists of four cardiac defects: a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Pulmonary Atresia (PA), overriding aorta, and right ventricular hypertrophy. Lisa and Corey say the news shook them to their core, and the life they planned with their daughter drastically changed. Those plans changed again when, at 26 weeks gestation, Peyton obtained another diagnosis, major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (MAPCAs). MAPCAs are arteries that branch off the aorta to provide blood to the lungs. These arteries formed due to Peyton’s pulmonary arteries not developing in utero. 

This rare and complex form of Tetralogy of Fallot meant that Peyton required highly specialized care from surgeons and doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. Doctors at Stanford also found that Peyton had an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and a Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava.

With no explanation for the causes and no cure, Lisa and Corey knew this would be a lifelong battle for their first child. They prepared to take care of Peyton throughout her life by researching, asking questions, and gathering the best healthcare team they could. They still felt isolated, saying, “Something was missing. We needed to hear from a parent’s perspective.” That’s when they connected to other CHD families online and the Conquering CHD community, which they say they will be a part of forever. 

On Dec. 12, 2022, at 35 weeks, Peyton Rae Brean entered the world via C-section due to her heart rate suddenly dropping during labor. Peyton was doing well during the next 10 days, and Lisa and Corey were expecting to leave the hospital as a family of three. On Dec. 23, Peyton went into sudden cardiac arrest. She passed in her mother’s loving arms on Christmas Eve. 

Lisa and Corey say their daughter taught them about how precious life is and how simple things matter. They hope funding can help open the line of communication for CHD families along with breaking down financial barriers so getting the best care for children doesn’t have to be a question.

If you would like to support the Brean’s cause, consider donating to Conquering CHD in honor of Peyton.

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