An Atlanta girl nearing her first birthday shares more than her looks with her father, as they both have the same scar over their hearts due to a congenital heart defect.
Savannah Connerat was just days old when doctors diagnosed her with ventricular septal defect (VSD), MyFoxAtlanta.com reported. Patti Simpson, a nurse practitioner at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Sibley Heart Center, described it as a large hold between the pumping chambers of her heart.
“She was 3 days old. Right before we left the hospital, they did an echo on her, and that’s when they found the hole,” Stephanie Bise, Savannah’s mother, told the news site.
While in some cases the hole may close on its own, doctors said that was unlikely for Savannah due to its large size.
In December 2014, then-4-month-old Savannah underwent open heart surgery to repair the defect in the same procedure that her father had undergone 30 years prior at the same hospital.
“It’s a terrible feeling,” Luke Connerat, her father, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “Mine wasn’t discovered until I was at least 2 years old.”
“He was always more positive about it,” Bise told the news site. “I would have my moments. But I kept thinking, ‘Well he’s going through it, he’s survived it, so how could she not?’”
With Savannah’s first birthday at the end of the month, the family said their daughter has rebounded and then some. She’s running, eating and acting like other toddlers do.
“She is off the wall. She’s all over the place,” Connerat told the news site.