Nikki DeLoach shares new details about her son’s heart condition
American Heart Month, which takes place every February, has gained prominence for Hallmark Channel star Nikki DeLoach since her second child was born with life-threatening congenital heart disease (CHD) in 2017.
February is also Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Month, and while the actress, writer, and director has often said how grateful she is for the doctors and interventions that have saved her son’s life on multiple occasions, she takes the opportunity now to say to tell more about their journey.
When DeLoach was five months pregnant with Bennett, her second son with husband Ryan Goodell, they learned he had multiple CADs and wasn’t sure if he would survive. She told people in November 2017, tests showed he “had a ventricular septal defect (or VSD), which is a small hole in his heart, his aorta was narrow, his coronary artery needed moving, and he had transposition of his great arteries, which meant the both arteries leading to his heart went into the wrong chambers.”
Bennett was born on Sept. 20, 2017, and five days later, DeLoach told People he underwent open-heart surgery at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). She said dr. Vaughn Starnes, Bennett’s cardiothoracic surgeon, has “done the impossible, successfully completing procedures that most children don’t survive.” She is so grateful for the hospital’s help that she has become Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Raise $5.5 million for CHLA at a fundraiser in October 2022, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Bennett, who is now five years old, had three heart surgeries in his short life, according to Los Angeles confidential. Although he is doing well, his condition is something his parents remain very aware of and is closely monitored by doctors. Raising a child with CHD has been an enlightening and challenging journey, but DeLoach has spoken in a new Instagram post about how she’s embracing what she’s learned and gained from the experience while revealing that Bennett may need further surgical procedures becomes.
Nikki DeLoach says she’s ‘heart obsessed’ now
On February 21, 2023, DeLoach shared a multi-slide Instagram post of insight and captioned her writings, “Thoughts on the Heart from a Heart Mother During Heart Month.” She captioned the post with a message urging her followers to take care of their hearts and get them checked regularly.
“Please ensure you eat well and treat your heart with love, which includes nurturing your mental health,” she wrote. “Emotional trauma increases the risk of heart attack and cardiac death.”
In the slides she created, DeLoach shared, “I took my own heart health for granted until I found out my son would be born with multiple congenital heart defects.”
Now she wrote: “I’m heart-obsessed.”
She continued, “Did you know that everyone in the world has a unique heartbeat? The heartbeat, like our fingerprints or our dreams, identifies each of us as a unique being.”
DeLoach also shared a previous photo of her with her distraught son in the hospital and statistics on heart health, including that heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the US and that CHD is the leading cause of death in infants from birth defects in the US
“Surgery is often not a cure for CHD,” she wrote. “Many people with CHD will need additional surgeries and/or medications as adults.”
When one of her fans thanked her for her honest post and shared that her daughter, now 17, had undergone several harrowing surgeries for CAD — including replacing her lung valve with a catheter through her groin — DeLoach responded with Compassion and she also revealed son will require a similar procedure in the future.
She wrote: “I’ve been praying for this because Benny is going to need a new piece of Gortex in his lungs and I really hope they can do it via a catheter. We are not alone and I am so thankful for that. It is an honor to walk by your side.”
DeLoach’s post inspired at least one of her followers to schedule a heart check right away. The man, who identified himself as a senior, wrote: “I appreciate your heartfelt message here, I am grateful for the encouragement to improve my own heart health.”
“Thanks for sharing this,” DeLoach replied. “I’m so glad it spoke to you. I’ve had my whole family’s hearts checked. It’s a great way to take care of yourself and love yourself.”
The man was so pleased to have received a reply from the star, writing that she had made his day and that he had just scheduled a “full heart scan and health check”.
Nikki DeLoach is collecting hearts to symbolize her family’s journey
In a November 2022 Interview with The Retaility, DeLoach revealed the agony of waiting during her son’s first life-saving surgery when he was just days old.
“When Bennett was in the (operating) room and we waited, I felt like my heart was being cut,” she said, recalling that the surgeons found the newborn’s condition to be even worse than expected. “It was the worst case scenario and he only had one coronary artery, not two coronary arteries, and the coronary artery was in the wrong place. That’s the thing they almost lost him on the table during surgery — it was the movement of that coronary artery.”
However, there was a silver lining to her experiences with Bennett, she said, as she’s learned to value and prioritize what’s really important in life in a way she still does after the birth of her first son, William had not fully understood. who is 9 now
“Bennett turned me into the best version of myself,” she said. “I had such skewed priorities in so many ways before he came into my life. Even after having my first child, I still had the same skewed priorities. I walked down a red carpet two weeks after giving birth (with William). Bennett blew all of that out of the water.”
DeLoach is now collecting hearts to remind them of the journey they have been on and the wonders in their midst. Retail item photos taken at DeLoach’s home showed a giant heart painting in one room, a heart-shaped wreath on her front door, and heart mobiles hanging on her back patio.
“They were either given to me or collected from various places. Everywhere I go, I try to buy a heart,” she said.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hallmark/nikki-deloach-heart-health/ Nikki DeLoach shares new details about her son’s heart condition