By CECIL PERGRAM
Marissa, John and Lincoln Shockey
On April 23, Lincoln Shockey, of Rosslyn, turned 3 years-old.
When someone looks at Lincoln, they would hardly be able to guess he suffers from a rare heart defect called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning the left side of his heart is critically undeveloped and that he is essentially only has half of a heart.
Lincoln has had to undergo multiple surgeries overcome numerous obstacles in the past because of his condition.
The last time the Clay City Times featured Lincoln in an article he had just celebrated his first birthday after enduring multiple surgeries. Those surgeries included two surgeries in a series of three that were needed to make his heart function as best as it possibly can.
At that time Lincoln still needed the Fontan Operation, the final surgery in the series of three.
The Fontan procedure is palliative, not curative, but in many cases it can result in normal or near-normal growth, development, exercise tolerance, and good quality of life.
Lincoln’s parents John and Marissa Shockey and the rest of the Shockey family which includes Lincoln’s four older brothers Korey, Aiden, Flynn and Sam are happy to report that last August, Lincoln underwent surgery and completed the Fontan Operation, the third a final surgery in the series of three, that he needed to make his heart function the best it possibly can.
Marissa Shockey says Lincoln’s Fontan procedure didn’t come without complications causing the family to stay in Philadelphia at the the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for two months after the operation.
“We don’t even know what it was he just had some kind of bacterial infection, he had a fever and we just had to treat it,” Shockey said of the complications. “Again, we still don’t know what it was and it can pop up again at anytime.”
“He is done unless something goes wrong. The way I like to explain it to people, it is essentially the same way you would treat a hospice patient,” Shockey said. “The only thing we can do is the surgeries and interventions and without them, he wouldn’t be able to live. That’s kind of like hospice, your trying to make life compatible for as long as you can and the best you can, with what you’ve got to work with.”
“Thirty years ago there was no fix at all. That’s how new some of these fixes are but he looks perfectly normal and healthy but at any moment a simple cold could put him back in the hospital.” Shockey said.
Shockey says that with recent medical advancements there are now more surviving adults with CHD than there are children and that Lincoln still continues to have routine yearly check-ups done at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia one of the top hospitals in the nation for children with his kind of heart defect.
Shockey says she has recently became the President of the Kentucky Chapter of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association and she continues to be advocate for families and children who born with a congenital heart defect.
“It’s a support group and educational group for families with kids with any kind of heart defects,” Shockey said. “I’m trying to get the word out to get volunteers and to just let people know that it’s available for families because there’s a lot more kids with heart defects than people realize.”
Shockey says CHD is the number one birth defect in the nation and 1 in 100 has a heart defect though in most cases are not as severe as Lincoln’s condition which is more rare and affects only 1 in about 5000 children.
If you would like for information about Lincoln Shockey or about the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association you can contact Marrisa Shockey President, Kentucky Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting website conqueringchd.org/kentucky.