• In the Loop: Daughter’s diagnosis gives mom a life-changing mission

patient with heart defect, baby Marbree Ustby smiling
When their daughter was born with congenital heart defects, Megan and Brent Ustby were comforted by families going through the same thing. Now, Megan is using her experiences to help others.

Marbree Ustby entered the world on Easter Sunday, "healthy, happy and doing everything she was supposed to," her mom, Megan Ustby, tells us. "She screamed and cried when she was born, and slept well and nursed right away." That all changed just a few days later.

"She stopped nursing on Wednesday night," Megan says. The next morning, there was blood in Marbree's diaper. Megan took her to the emergency department at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, where she received the news that Marbree's body was shutting down.

"They didn't know what was going on right away, only that her organs were failing," Megan says. Soon, a team of neonatal intensive care specialists arrived to stabilize little Marbree and transfer her by air ambulance to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. By 9 p.m., Megan and her husband, Brent, would learn what was behind their daughter's difficulties. Marbree had several heart defects, including coarctation of the aortabicuspid aortic valve and atrial septal defect. They were preventing blood from flowing through her body the way it should. Read the rest of the story.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

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