5-year-old Oregon child, who was born with a “Swiss cheese” deformity, celebrates his “superhero heart”

NEW Fox News articles can now be heard on audio! A little child who was predicted to require a heart transplant instead received a much greater gift: a heart that had been fixed and was now free of abnormalities.

Maverick Waler, 5, of Redmond, Oregon, was born with a “Swiss cheese” heart, which has more than a dozen holes in it.

According to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where Maverick had surgery, most children born with Swiss cheese hearts undergo many operations early in life and subsequently often need heart transplants in their late teens to early 20s.

A 4-year-old Ohio boy receives a new heart for his birthday; he is forever grateful
On the other side, Little Maverick was able to experience a different kind of procedure.
Doctors mended Maverick’s heart holes in December 2021.
Maverick shouldn’t require any additional procedures at this time than some routine examinations.

Maverick Waler, 5, of Redmond, Oregon, was born with holes in his heart but now has had the holes closed in a cutting-edge procedure.

Brad Waler, the father of Maverick, said in an interview with Fox News Digital that Maverick now has his “new heart,” or his “Iron Man heart,” because he adores Iron Man.

He continued, “He has a superhero heart and he has loads of strength.

LIKELY TO REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ACTION According to the family’s statement to Fox News Digital, Brad Waler and his wife Ellyn Waler were informed about their son’s cardiac problem while Ellyn was still pregnant.

The technician noticed something unfavorable during an ultrasound to monitor normal growth at about 20 weeks, according to Brad Waler.

In Bend, Oregon, Ellyn Waler was referred to a pediatric cardiologist, where another ultrasound was performed. The unborn kid of the Walers has heart abnormalities, they discovered.

Mom Ellyn Waler holds baby Maverick in her arms. The parents found out about their son's heart condition from ultrasounds before he was born.

At that time, Brad Waler says, “we were no longer going to have a typical delivery.” “Maverick” would have to be born in Portland, and he probably needs help right away.

Knowing that his son, the couple’s first child, would be born with a major medical condition was “heartbreaking,” according to Brad Waler.
Brad Waler remarked, “Everything is so new that you really don’t know how to absorb it any differently than what’s in front of you.”
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On June 14, 2017, Maverick was born. When Maverick’s heart rate abruptly fell, the planned C-section for the Walers’ newborn was converted into an emergency procedure.

After Maverick was born, according to Brad Waler, he was able to spend a few priceless minutes with him before being sent to the NICU for a two-week recovery period.

Brad Waler (pictured with baby Maverick) told Fox News Digital that during a regular ultrasound, doctors saw Maverick had heart defects that would have to be treated immediately after he was born.

Brad Waler remarked, “Things got pretty tough really fast.” He required heart surgery, which couldn’t be done until he was healthy enough.

At the age of barely two weeks, Maverick underwent his first cardiac operation. He recovered from the procedure in the pediatric ICU for two additional weeks.


Brad Waler claimed that after just 24 hours, the Walers traveled three hours back to Portland and spent an additional week and a half in the hospital because they observed that Maverick’s chest wound looked red and infected when they took him home following his treatment.

He said, “That was kind of a nightmare.”

After Maverick was born, he became sick and had to spend two weeks in the NICU before he could have his first heart surgery.

The Walers were finally able to bring Maverick home after his recovery.

The Walers fed Maverick and administered his medication through a nasogastric (NG) tube at the time. Injections to thin the blood had to be given as well, according to Brad Waler.

Brad Waler remarked, “Of course, he had a lot of medical needs. But having him home and being able to act like a “regular baby” was fantastic.

“He kept doing incredibly, incredibly well. His blood oxygen levels were all extremely high.”
Brad Waler and his wife depended on each other and their family for support throughout all of Maverick’s health issues, he added.

We’ve always supported each other and have a pretty strong friendship, he remarked. “When we are in a position like this, I believe we work pretty well together. Maverick has both of us by his side entirely. And we take care of him as is necessary.”


Maverick has been seeing his cardiologist on a regular basis for the past four years as he has matured.
Brad Waler stated that “everyone kind of assumed that he would require surgery again in a year, maybe two years.”
“He yet kept performing incredibly well. His blood oxygen levels were all extremely high.”

Waler added, “There was no need for surgery because he was recovering so well. Before having another surgery, they also wanted him to be as old as feasible.”

After Maverick spent about six weeks in the hospital, the Walers were able to bring him home. For the next four years, he continued to do well.

According to Brad Waler, the Walers first observed Maverick’s lips and fingers turning blue about a year ago when his blood oxygen levels began to drop.

Maverick would feel queasy as a result.
Brad Waler said, “At that point, it began to be a genuine interruption in his quality of life.
The holes in little Maverick’s heart would be able to be filled thanks to Dr. Bacha’s treatment.

Brad and Ellyn Waler were partially prepared because they knew he would require another heart surgery, the father said, despite the agony of witnessing their son struggle.

They weren’t prepared for the procedure to transport them to New York City.

VERY, VERY EXTREME According to Brad Waler, Maverick’s local cardiologist asked the Walers for permission to transmit Maverick’s records to Dr. Emile Bacha, the hospital’s director of congenital pediatric heart surgery.

As Brad Waler put it, “The more eyes on this, the better,” so the Walers agreed.

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