Carson Nicholas Smyth of Glendora has just turned 20 months old, but it has been an emotional roller coaster for his family even before he was born.
When his mother Rheanna White was five months pregnant with Carson, his parents discovered he had a congenital heart defect. Two hours after he was born on Dec. 27, 2011, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. And at three days old, Carson had his first open heart surgery.
Now, before his second birthday, Carson needs his third surgery – a complicated, newer procedure done at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“It’s a specialized surgery that Boston Children’s Hospital
is known for,” said White.
Although doctors at CHLA initially told White and Carson’s father, Nick Smyth, that their son wouldn’t need another surgery until he was two or three years old, a routine checkup confirmed that Carson was due for another surgery earlier than expected. But CHLA doctors told Carson’s parents that they could not perform the biventricular repair on Carson.
Carson’s parents got a second opinion from specialists at Boston Children’s Hospital, where doctors approved Carson as a candidate for the surgery.
His surgery is set for Oct. 15.
But the surgery, travel costs and minimum three-month stay in Boston come at a hefty price tag. Carson’s father is currently unemployed and White is a stay-at-home mother, ready to give birth to a daughter Sunday.
It has been a stressful time for Carson’s family.
“A rollercoaster is how I would describe it,” said White. “You just hold on tight and roll with the turns and the drops…but Carson has been an amazing fighter and we have been blessed with his strength.
White said they have had extraordinary support from family members and the community.
Local businesses and others in Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga have donated or assisted in the cause to raise funds for the family and Carson’s surgery.
Tuesday Morning in Glendora has offered its parking lot to allow the family to host rummage sales and car washes. Clubhouse 66 will donate 10 percent of each dinner to the cause this Thursday evening. Other businesses such as Gina’s Cakes in Fontana and Lucky 7 Motorsports and Pizza Factory in Rancho Cucamonga have raised money for the family.
“People we don’t even know have been giving us donations,” said White. “That is amazing and we are so grateful.”
To keep up with the family’s efforts or to donate to the cause, go to www.gofundme.com/CarsonsHeartJourney/, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CarsonsHeartJourney or their blog at carsonnicholas.wordpress.com/ .