Allen was born on September 2, 2006, with Hypoplastic Left Heart
Syndrome (HLHS), a congenital defect in which the left side of the heart
is underdeveloped. The condition is usually fatal within the first days
or months of the child’s life unless detected and treated. HLHS is not
correctable but can be treated either with a series of operations, or a
When Parker was just 5 days old, he underwent the first operation in a
series of three, known as the Norwood Procedure. This procedure allows
the right ventricle to pump blood to both the lungs and to the body,
keeping the child healthy until old enough for the follow up surgeries.
Complications from this surgery resulted in a paralyzed vocal cord,
which later impaired his ability to speak. At six months, Parker
underwent the second surgery, the Glen Procedure.
In January of 2008, at nearly 17 months old, Parker went into
congestive heart failure (CHF) and suffered a severe stroke. The stroke
resulted in massive damage to the left side of his brain and severe
paralysis in the right side of his body. Parker would remain in the
hospital for the next seven months. He would eventually receive a heart
transplant in June from an 8 month old donor in California, a “gift of
life” Parker’s family is very grateful for.
On July 25th, with the help of Intermountain Homecare, Parker was able to go home.
Without the help of the oxygen system provided by Homecare, and the
dedicated staff of pharmacists and pharmacy techs, says Sheila, “it
would have been impossible for us to come home as soon as we did.”
Overcoming odds many thought were impossible, Parker is now a happy
and playful little boy, and his Homecare physical therapy enabled his
rehabilitation to progress much faster than anyone anticipated. “We were
told by his doctors he probably wouldn’t walk before he was five,” says
Sheila. Yet at just two and a half, Parker is able to take several
steps unassisted, and with his mom holding his hand can walk as far as
he wishes. As a result of his speech therapy Parker is learning
to speak in full sentences, using signs to indicate words he does not
yet know. Sheila credits much of Parker’s progress to the Intermountain
Homecare team who has been with him from the very beginning. “They have become like family to us,” she says. “I can’t imagine what we would do without them.”