Ethan Hunt pre­par­ing for an­other heart surgery

Fam­ily just wait­ing for the call to go to Toronto for pro­ce­dure

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FARRELL

It is a try­ing time for Rick and Lori Hunt.

They are wait­ing for a call from the Sick Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in Toronto that their son Ethan will be go­ing for surgery.

“When I’m at work, ev­ery time Rick calls me I think about, ‘I won­der did he get a call,’” she told the South­ern Gazette in a phone in­ter­view. “And when the phone rings here Rick is think­ing the same thing, look­ing at the (phone) num­ber to see who it is.”

Ethan, age16, was born with Down syn­drome, and a heart con­di­tion called Tril­ogy of Fal­lot.

“(He) had two holes in his heart, and his main artery is nar­row­ing,” Lori ex­plained.

Ethan has had three heart surg­eries in the past and is pre­par­ing for his fourth.

“When he had surgery when he was two months old he was left with a leaky valve and this valve has got to be re­placed be­cause it’s been 16 years now since he had his first surgery,” she said. “The valve is still leak­ing so they’ve got to re­pair this valve in his heart.”

Three years ago Ethan un­der- went a pro­ce­dure to try and re­pair his pul­monary artery, which keeps nar­row­ing.

“They put the bal­loon up through his groin into his heart to try and (ex­pand) the artery,” she said.

The pro­ce­dure did not take and the fol­low­ing day Ethan’s artery had nar­rowed again.


Rick said that a lot of chil­dren with Down syn­drome have prob­lems with their or­gans.

The Hunt’s ex­plained that the heart con­di­tion is hav­ing an im­pact on Ethan’s day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It af­fects him a lot more now than it did be­fore,” he said.

Ethan’s par­ents said he is eas­ily tired, sleepy, has short­ness of breath and bro­ken sleep.

“What’s hap­pen­ing is this main artery is nar­row­ing and the oxy­gen is not get­ting to his heart,” Lori said.

The fam­ily re­ceived a call from the The Janeway Chil­dren’s Health and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen- tre in St. John’s two weeks ago ex­plain­ing Ethan was a can­di­date for surgery, but no fur­ther de­tails were given at the time.


“It is a wait­ing game for us now,” Rick said.

The fam­ily was told that they could re­ceive a call any day.

The fam­ily is pre­par­ing but it is hard to know what to ex­pect given the un­cer­tainty of when they will be go­ing or how long they will need to stay in Toronto.

“It (is) de­ter­mined by what they’ve got to do,” Lori said.

Rick added, “I guess they won’t know un­til till they get in­side and see what they’ve got to do, how long it is go­ing to take them to do it and how long a re­cov­ery it is for him.”

Lori also said, “Whether they got to go through his chest or what­ever, we don’t know un­til we get up there.”

Rick and Lori shared their hopes for this surgery.

“That ev­ery­thing go great — ev­ery­thing will be fixed and Ethan get bet­ter, that’s all that mat­ters, that he get bet­ter.”


The Hunt fam­ily ex­tends thanks to Rosetta Mullins for all her help.


The Hunt Fam­ily (front, from left) Liam Hunt and his brother Ethan with (back) par­ents Rick and Lori.

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