BALTIMORE, MD (WJZ) -- This time last year, a family received news that their newborn baby was born was a rare congenital heart defect.
Grechauna Rogers and Kenneth Ingram were ready to leave an area hospital with baby Noah. But one last routine checkup revealed their baby's oxygen levels were a little too low.
The parents were referred to the University of Maryland's Children's Hospital in Baltimore, where the two would learn Noah was born with truncus arteriosus, a severe heart defect.
"There's probably somewhere around 100 cases of truncus arteriosus overall in the country a year. That's an educated guess. I would say Noah's variant of that is on the order of maybe two or three," said pediatric surgeon and Surgical Director of the Children's Heart Program Joseph Forbess.
Dr. Forbess joined the University of Maryland Children's Hospital weeks after Noah Rogers was born in January. With his expertise, he ultimately helped the team perform life-saving surgery the then one-month-old would need. The surgery required building and extending the missing part of Noah's artery, then connecting it to the heart allowing the lungs to receive a normal amount of blood flow.
"To be honest the way everything kind of laid itself out, it was truly a Godsend," said Ingram.
After spending some time recovering in the hospital, Noah was finally able to go home.
The now toddler has routine checkups every couple of months, which included one on Friday, his 1st birthday. There, he was reunited with Dr. Forbess and pediatric cardiologist Geoffrey Rosenthal, the Director of the Children's Heart Program.
"Nothing fills my heart with more joy than seeing a child like Noah doing so well after such a serious illness," said Dr. Rosenthal.
As Noah grows, Dr. Forbess said the valve in his heart will need to be changed out.
The doctors gave Noah's parents hope for the future after healing the heart of one of their smallest patients.
"He just makes me proud. Whatever he wants to be, I'll support him. But he just might be a cardiologist. He might be the next Dr. Forbess in a couple of decades," said Rogers.
Dr. Forbess and Dr. Rosenthal are also professors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
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