Keyota Cole, Mother, Risks Life To Have Baby While Battling Heart Disease (VIDEO)

02/16/2012 05:28 pm ET

Keyota Cole has been battling congenital heart disease since she was born. But when the 33-year-old California woman learned she was pregnant with her second biological child, doctors suggested she terminate the pregnancy because her heart couldn't handle it.

But Cole decided to keep the baby anyway.


During a fetal echocardiogram, Cole learned the baby's heart only had one pumping chamber and that it would need open-heart surgery shortly after birth.

Cole moved forward with the pregnancy and gave birth on Dec. 13, 2011. She named her daughter Faith.

The mother's heart condition could have been fatal for mother and child, KGET 17 News reports.

But when the baby was taken into surgery five days later, Cole and fiance Brian Zachary waited for her safe return.

The operation was a success, and although Faith will need two other surgeries over the next four years, mom and dad were able to take her home on Jan. 11, according to a press release from UCLA.

Doctors credit the success of Cole's pregnancy and delivery, as well as Faith's surgery, to advance preparation.

"Our entire team, including adult cardiology, pediatric cardiology, obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine, heart surgery, neonatology and nursing all came together to plan each step of the way," Dr. Mark Sklansky, chief of pediatric cardiology at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, said in a statement.

"My heart may never be perfect, and her heart is never going to be perfect, but we are alive and we are here," Cole said.

In a similar story, baby Jaya Maharaj, born about three months ago, became the youngest person ever to receive a pacemaker.

The baby suffered from congenital heart block, "in which the mother's immune system mistakenly attacks the nerve fibers that cause the fetus' heart to beat," the Associated Press reported.

Doctors at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital delivered the girl at 31 weeks and placed a pacemaker in her chest only 15 minutes after she was born. Baby Jaya is reportedly recovering well.

For more on Keyota Cole's story, watch the full report below.



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