SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The Heart Center at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital is helping families throughout the Intermountain Region with a new surgical procedure for children experiencing severe heart valve disease.

Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital heart surgeons are performing the ROSS surgical procedure – a delicate and complex surgery that surgically treats a diseased aortic valve by replacing the valve with the patient’s pulmonary valve, and then replacing that pulmonary valve with a donated human heart valve. Most children who receive this surgery end up with hearts that function as well as a regular healthy heart, according to Adil Husain, MD, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery for University of Utah Health and co-director of the Heart Center at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

One such patient is five-year-old Creedon McCall from Twin Falls, Idaho, who was flown to Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital just two days after he was born with a too-narrow aortic valve. Doctors initially treated his aortic valve by expanding it with a balloon. That helped Creedon’s heart function much better – until he was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma in late 2020.

During immunotherapy cancer treatments, doctors discovered fluid on Creedon’s heart, and that his aortic valve needed to be replaced.

“In working with Creedon and his family, we determined that the ROSS procedure would be the best way for him to have a healthy heart someday,” Dr. Husain said. “In spite of his many medical issues, we felt fortunate that his surgical intervention for the diseased aortic valve was a success.”

Creedon’s surgery took place last March – one month after his cancer was found to be in remission, said his mother, Callie McCall.

“He’s doing really well,” she said. “He’s keeping up with his twin brother, and catching up on his missed time with everyone. You’d never be able to tell he had cancer and congenital heart disease. He’s all about playing right now.”

Here’s what parents should do if they are concerned about their child’s heart health: Ask a family doctor or pediatrician for an exam – or contact Intermountain Primary Children’s or one of its clinics. If a child has a heart condition, Primary Children’s experts can help. Primary Children’s heart clinics are open at the hospital in Salt Lake City, and in St. George, as well as southeastern Idaho.

New clinics also are being built in Montana, and at the second Primary Children’s Hospital at the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Campus, which opens next year in Lehi.

The Heart Center at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital

Phone: 801-213-3599

Sponsored by Intermountain Health.