Baby Waylon was supposed to be recovering well from surgery, according to the staff at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. However, months passed and Waylon remained in the intensive care unit because more complications arose.Waylon’s parents, the Rainey’s kept asking if everything was ok. Doctors and nurses time and time again assured them that yes everything was fine.
Then one day a cardiologist took Tabitha Rainey aside. Mrs. Rainey claims that the cardiologist advised her to move Waylon to another hospital.A few days later, the Raineys made arrangements to have their child moved to the University of Michigan by plane.At that point Waylon was in heart failure, and not even 3 months old.
Waylon has a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means the left side of his heart is malformed to the point that it can’t pump blood. If he had been born 30 years ago, he would have most likely died a few days or weeks after birth.
Modern medicine allows surgeons to perform a series of 3 operations on babies like Waylon. These surgeries are high stake. Cutting into an organ the size of a newborn’s fist is obviously tricky and difficult. According to CNN, the blood vessels can be thinner than a piece of angel hair pasta. One wrong move could be deadly.
Surgeons track their deaths and complications and take great pride in the number of babies they save. Some publish their success rates on their hospital websites, they are so proud. Kentucky Children’s Hospital is not one of these hospitals.
Quite opposite, Kentucky Children’s Hospital has gone to great lengths to keep their pediatric heart surgery mortality rates a secret. In order to do so, they cite patient privacy. Reporters and the Kentucky Attorney General have requested the mortality data from the hospital but they have declined to hand over the data. In April, the hospital went so far as to go to court to keep the mortality rate private.
The hospital’s chief heart surgeon, and only surgeon performing open-heart surgeries at the hospital, went on paid leave after 4 young children had complications after heart surgery. Connor Wilson died at 6 months old after having surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Three weeks later, Waylon Rainey went into heart failure after his surgery. Eleven days after that incident, Jaxon Russell had a “botched” heart surgery. 3 weeks later, Rayshawn Lewis-Smith, a 6-month year old, died after having heart surgeries.
Luckily both Waylon and Jaxon survived, only after undergoing more surgeries at other hospitals.
Connor Wilson’s mother told CNN that she believed that the hospital is hiding something. None of the parents ever received an explanation as to why Dr. Plunkett left and the hospital spokeswoman was not available for comment.
Amidst all the legal battles, the hospital plans to do heart surgeries again.
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