Heart Strong: Volunteer Sabrina Dodd & Her Warrior Sons
Sabrina, the VP of Conquering CHD – Tennessee, has two sons, Dakota and Brody, both born with CHD. Dakota in 2002 with Pulmonary Stenosis and Brody in 2004 with Pulmonary Stenosis and Aortic Insufficiency. Both sons required emergency surgery. Thankfully, now both Dakota and Brody are looking forward to bright futures!
Sabrina’s son Dakota was born in 2002 with pulmonary stenosis, and after spending 16 months in and out of the hospital he was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization in April of 2005 to balloon his arteries. During the cath he went into cardiac arrest three times and was sent by ground life support to a nearby children’s hospital to undergo open heart surgery. The surgery was a success, and although he is now followed regularly by cardiology, he is expected to lead a normal life. He’s 19 now, recently graduated from high school, and anticipates joining the military or the police force later this year.
Sabrina’s second son Brody was born in 2004 with pulmonary stenosis like his brother, as well as aortic insufficiency. He was taken into the cath lab at 4 months old, which resulted in a life flight to a nearby children’s hospital for emergency open heart surgery. Since then he has had 3 additional cardiac catheterizations and 2 additional open-heart surgeries. He now has a mechanical aortic valve and will be on blood thinners and followed closely by cardiology for the rest of his life. He is preparing to graduate from high school a semester early in December and hopes to acquire a job relating to criminal justice.
When Dakota and Brody were born nearly 20 years ago, there was no support system in place. For Sabrina, finding Conquering CHD has been amazing. It gives her the opportunity to meet other parents who are just now learning the benefit of support, new families who see her sons as a beacon of hope for their own little ones, and to build lasting relationships with hospital staff to help provide support and resources to families. Her favorite thing about Conquering CHD is that we focus on the here and now – having the chance to help children, teens, and adults face the battle they’re already in. Prevention and diagnostics are so important, and Sabrina prays someday there will be no more CHD, but says, “Until then, these families need us, and I am so proud to be a part of such a giving, honest, group of heart families who just want to see the next family through their journey.”