Keiran Charles “KC” Zimmerman

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

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Keiran Charles “KC” Zimmerman's Bio

At nine months of age Keiran, known to those who love him as “KC,” should be closing in on milestones such as crawling and forming words. Unfortunately, a milestone for him is staying away from the doctor’s office for a week. Wearing 0-3 month clothing, KC isn’t an overly large fellow, but his heart and smile are HUGE.

Just a few weeks into his life he was already undergoing testing because he wasn’t gaining weight. KC was born at 9 lbs 0 oz. at 2 months old he was down to 6 lbs 8 oz. He was officially labeled as “infant failure to thrive” with delayed milestones; but his list of diagnosis stretches much further than just that. He has an abnormal heart rhythm which leads to decreased tissue perfusion, peripheral cyanosis, and also contributes to apnea episodes. He also has Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), a disorder where the hole in his heart that a fetus uses for blood to bypass the lungs fails to close at birth. This means that he has blood shunting from his right atrium to left atrium directly instead of traveling to the right ventricle and lungs before returning to the left atrium. He also has developmental feeding delays, GERD (Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease), risk of aspiration, and dysphagia.

Some other statistics for KC’s scorecard:

KC takes 11 different medications with dosages anywhere from 1-6 times a day. He has been admitted to the hospital, including Penn State Hershey Children’s Medical Center where he sees specialists, 7 times with many admissions being multiple days in length. KC has had 32 ER visits stemming from his challenges to normal childhood illnesses such as sinus infections, pinkeye, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and thrush.

KC currently tips the scales at 15.5 lbs thanks to his feeding schedule. He receives feedings 24 hours a day of a hypoallergenic formula that is 27 kcals/ oz. and at a rate of 35 mLs/ hr through his gastrojejunal feeding tube. A “normal” formula feeding is 20 kcals. He has had one surgery for tube placement, with 2 additional surgeries already on the schedule. Every 3 months, for an undetermined length of time, he will need to undergo surgery due to his feeding tube. His week includes Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapy.

While he is only 9 months old, he’s a fighter. With your help, he can grow bigger and stronger, and while he may not be able to be a firefighter and paramedic like his father, or maybe a firefighter, emergency medical technician and nurse like his mother; his future can still be as bright as his smile that will light up any room. Thank you and God Bless!

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