UH Rainbow Treats Child with an Aorta the Size of a Pinhole

Food allergies, asthma, and croup were common the first six years of Trent’s life. Trent’s parents finally felt they were at a good spot, managing his health, until Trent complained of his legs and feet hurting when he walked. They thought that maybe it was growing pains. Then came the reflux issues. An endoscopy revealed vascular compressions on Trent’s airway and esophagus.

An additional layer of complication was Trent’s kidney levels. UH Rainbow nephrologist Dr. Emily Joyce was very concerned, and ordered an echocardiogram. Trent spent his first day of 1st grade getting tests done at UH Rainbow. It was then Trent’s family learned their son was a heart warrior.

“I am sure the shock on my face was evident when the cardiologist explained Trent had a bicuspid aortic valve," recalls Trent’s mom Samantha. "After the physical exam, we were all in shock, including the cardiologist, Dr. Janine Arruda. Trent did not have any palpable pulses in his feet or legs. A CT scan revealed a severe case of coarctation of the aorta or COA. It felt like time was standing still and moving at light speed at the same time.”

Trent and his family found themselves in UH Rainbow’s state-of-the-art hybrid cath lab meeting Dr. Martin Bocks, Director of Pediatric Interventional Cardiology. Dr. Bocks explained he and his team were going to do their best to open Trent’s aorta through catheterization to avoid open-heart surgery.

“We just knew Dr. Bocks was going to be our hero,” said Samantha. “He came out of the cath lab and even with a mask on we could tell he was smiling, and that he had great news to share.”

“Trent had an aorta that was narrowed to the size of a pinhole,” Dr. Bocks explains. “This type of severe coarctation of the aorta is the highest risk to treat, both in the cath lab and by surgery. However, with the use of a special covered stent we were able to treat the obstruction and widen his aorta back to a normal size with a minimally invasive approach. We are so very pleased with how well Trent has done.”

They never expected to be a heart family. But Trent’s parents are so grateful their son is doing well, and living his life to the fullest, thanks to Dr. Bocks and the Congenital Heart Collaborative at UH Rainbow.