Thisis Jacob’s fourth major heart procedure and his dad says the pastsurgeries have left his boy scarred, but only physcially.
“Yeah,he’s a happy kid. I mean, he goes to school, enjoys life. I mean, youget to know him, it’s real hard to forget the kid.
Butthanks to an amazing piece of technology, his most recent procedurewill leave nothing but a small dot on Jacob’s neck.
It’scalled the transcatheter pulmonary valve, or melody valve for short.
The$30,000 valve is inserted into a small tube, and according to Jacob’sdoctors, will go through his neck and into his heart.
“It’sa valve that comes from a cow. From the jugular vein of a cow. As youknow, they graze, so they put their heads down. Also, this valvehelps the blood not go into their heads.”
“Imagineyourself getting wires through a wall in your house. So, you need toput a wire and you need to put a hole in the very bottom part and toppart, and not destroy the whole entire wall. This is the same way.”
Oncethe valve is in place, the surgeon inflates the balloon and thendeflates it before he pulls the wire back out, thus repairing thedefect, for now.
“It’sa platform that has changed, dramatically, the way we look at things.Because instead of having to do this, in an absolutely invasivemanner, we’re going less and less invasive. But with the samesafeguards that we’ve had up until now.”