A look into the past: Huntington woman born with congenital heart disease advocates for children’s hospital

West Virginia Tonight

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The WVU Medicine Children’s hospital is not only making a difference in countless children’s lives now; their care can have a lifelong impact.

“One in 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect,” says Samantha Davis, who was a patient at the hospital as a child.

She was one of those children.  

“Pulmonary stenosis, transposition of the great vessels, coarctation of the aorta, and ventricular septal defect…The easiest way that I’ve always explained it to ‘outsiders’ is: I was born with four holes in my heart and my aorta was switched, so my regular blood and my oxygenated blood were mixing, and I was turning blue,” Davis says.

It was a terrifying situation—one that Samantha’s mother Becki remembers vividly.

“I knew that she was blue. However, her being my first baby, I thought, well she’ll pink up,” Becki says.  

However when she didn’t, doctors at Cabell-Huntington Hospital knew she needed more intensive care.

“I was transported to West Virginia University the next day,” recalls Davis.

“I might start crying, because we got there, I was 23 hours post having my baby, and I can remember the nurses just surrounded me with love. You know, I didn’t get to hold her at that time, but they let me just be a mom,” Becki says.

At WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, Samantha had three surgeries before the age of one and three in the years following that.

Samantha and her mom say because of the quality of care she received as a child, they still refer people to the facility to this day.

“If my cardiac surgeon was still practicing, up until he retired here just two months ago, I was referring patients,” Davis says.

Back then, Samantha says her parents were given the option to go out of state, or to WVU Medicine Children’s hospital.

“After my parents talked to my grandparents, they were like just keep your money in the state. So we chose West Vigrinia University,” Davis says.

“I’ve never regretted it one time. They were just for the family.” 

Becki Davis, Samantha’s mother

The Davis’ say they think the new facility is going to be extremely beneficial for children who need care not only in West Virginia, but throughout the Appalachian region.

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