Mom’s birthday text to doctor prompts lifesaving surgery for daughter born with half a heart

As a baby, Kaydan Fisher was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, with both of the big arteries coming out of the right side of her heart and its left side tiny.

Kaydan Fisher and her mother, Demetric Fisher, will always be grateful to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Avichal Aggarwal. 

According to People, Fisher was celebrating her daughter’s 10th birthday when she texted a photo to Aggarwal, who monitored Kaydan until she was 6 due to a congenital heart defect. He then moved from Mississippi to Texas, where he is affiliated with the Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and UTHealth.

“Kaydan will always be close to my heart,” said Aggarwal.

Heart surgery Texas
Mississippi native Kaydan Fisher, who was born with a heart defect, got life-altering help after her mother, Demetric Fisher, sent a text to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Avichal Aggarwal to mark Kaydan’s 10th birthday. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

As a baby, Kaydan was diagnosed with a double outlet right ventricle with numerous great arteries — meaning both of the big arteries were coming out of the right side of her heart, and its left side was tiny. Her condition led to Kaydan needing three open-heart surgeries by the time she was 2 years old.

Doctors told Fisher and her husband, Cedric, that Kaydan would likely need a heart transplant when she was in her 20s.

“We celebrated each birthday. But as she got older, we knew what we were facing,” said Fisher. “Her aging was a good thing, but also it was a scary thing for us because we knew what was near.”

After receiving her text and photo on June 20, 2022, Aggarwal called Fisher to inform her about a new procedure he and one of her daughter’s cardiac surgeons helped develop, which could help provide patients with a complete, healthy heart without requiring a heart transplant.

Fisher was thrilled when Aggarwal invited Kaydan to Houston to see if she was a candidate for the operation.

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“It was that sign of hope,” she recalled. “I knew for her to have a longer lifespan that she was going to need a divine intervention, but I didn’t know exactly how we were going to get there.”

Aggarwal explained that biventricular conversion increases blood flow through the lungs and reroutes blood flow to cause the ventricles to develop, which aids in the smaller heart chamber’s growth to its standard size.

With this new procedure, he and Dr. Jorge Salazar, co-director of the Children’s Heart Institute, who also treated Kaydan as an infant in Mississippi, are helping kids with half a heart develop whole, healthy ones. They have performed about 50 procedures in the last six years.

Kaydan underwent the procedure on Feb. 8, 2023, and received discharge papers on Valentine’s Day. She now lives as an 11-year-old in good health who doesn’t have to be “as careful” when enjoying everyday activities.

“Kaydan is a very happy example of a child who now has a normal heart, a normal future, and no limitations,” said Salazar, People reported.

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