Carolina Castañeda and Jesus Farias were driving home from a family outing with Olivia, their newborn daughter, when they heard her making a strange noise. As first-time parents, they thought it might be normal. However, when Olivia continued making the sound, the couple began to worry. They stopped the car, took Olivia out of the car seat, and noticed that her body had gone limp.
“Her hands and legs just stopped moving,” said Castañeda. “I didn’t know what was normal, but it did not look normal at all.”
Castañeda was startled to see Olivia’s blue lips and her eyes rolling back. The couple rushed their daughter to the nearest hospital in Yakima, trying to keep her awake. When they arrived, Olivia’s eyes were closed.
“Nurses ran around the desk and took her out of my arms – they didn’t even ask questions,” said Castañeda. “It all happened so fast.”
Doctors told the family that Olivia’s body had worked so hard to stay alive that her vessels were shutting down. When Olivia finally opened her eyes and looked around, Castañeda said she remembers feeling at peace, like everything was going to be okay.
The hospital flew Olivia to Seattle Children’s from the Yakima airport. The family was told that a helicopter would have been too slow for Olivia, in her condition.
The new parents were shocked to learn that their 2-week-old baby was in cardiogenic shock due to critical congenital heart defects and she would need surgery from Seattle Children’s Heart Center.
“Everything was scary,” said Castañeda. “She was my baby, she was my firstborn.”
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