Cindy Bernal and Joey Paranaga are both hopeful their 8-year-old daughter Chloe would outgrow her medical condition. The incoming third grader at Eucon International School is suffering from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum or PAIVS.
Chloe is the latest recipient of Make-A-Wish Foundation, which granted her wish of a shopping spree. Their family, including Chloe’s younger brothers Josh and Yeoj, also spent the weekend at the Pacific Islands Club.
“She’s shy and she takes time to warm up to other people but she’s a happy kid. She’s a fighter and we’re hoping that she would outgrow her medical condition,” Bernal told Saipan Tribune while they enjoyed a lunch buffet at the Giovanni’s restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
PAIV, according to WebMD Health Professional Network’s Medscape, is a “rare congenital cardiac lesion characterized by heterogenous right ventricular development, an imperforate pulmonary valve, and possible extensive ventriculocoronary connections.”
“Our hearts have four chambers but for Chloe one of her chambers is not fully grown and that causes problems on the flow of blood. A tube is connected from her heart to her lungs. She already had three major open heart surgeries in Japan,” said Bernal.
She added that everything was normal when she was pregnant with her. “I gave birth to her through cesarean section but everything was normal when I was pregnant. All my regular check ups had no problems.”
“It was only after giving birth that she was diagnosed with a heart murmur. After one week, we’re off to Japan where she was operated when she was a month old. Her next operation was when she turned a year old and the last almost two years ago,” Bernal said.
“She’s using a pacemaker and next year we’re going to San Diego for replacement, which would last for almost 10 years. There’s also a pacemaker technician that comes here to Saipan once a year that’s why she gets checked,” added Bernal, who had a brother who died when he was a year old.
She said that her brother was a blue baby, a condition where one’s skin turns blue from lack of oxygen in the blood due to a defect on major blood vessels of the heart.
“But we see progress on her condition. It’s slow, but at least there’s progress. She can easily get tired and she always says what she feels. She’s on oxygen sometimes specially at night. She’s also a picky eater so we let her drink Pediasure to assist in some of the nutrients she needs.”
Dr. Leticia Borja, Chloe’s pediatrician, was the one who wrote Make-A-Wish Foundation after asking her parents’ permission. Make-A-Wish also gave Chloe a brand new iPad Pro while Docomo Pacific donated a Beats Solo2 wireless headphones, JBL clip speakers, and other giveaways.