Baby Saved Via a Model of Her Heart

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The doctors were trying to explain to parents Stephanie and Rory Starks about their desperately ill new-born girl, Jemma. But the words were incomprehensible, alien techno-babble. “They said she had pulmonary atresia with an intact ventricular septum. Those words were hard to understand. We were like ‘what?’,” said Stephanie Starks. “They tried to explain that a ductus was supposed to open and it didn’t. What’s a ductus?” This is sometimes called “missing half a heart,” which only made the parents even more afraid. Just 24 hours before, Starks had given birth during an event-free, home-based procedure to what was thought to be a healthy, eight-pound child. Fifteen hours later that same bundle of humanity was being rushed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, struggling to breath and live.

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