New Bern family shares story, concerns of 7-month old’s congenital heart defect


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) –  Just last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host described his experience with his son and a congenital heart disease.

A New Bern woman has a child with the same condition.

“At the 18-week appointment, for the full anatomy scan the ultrasound tech said something wasn’t right,” said Carrie Simmons, recounting when she found out her daughter has Tetralogy of Fallot.

When you look at 7-month-old Sadie Simmons, you see big blue eyes, a keen fashion sense, and a big smile.

What you don’t see is her congenital heart defect.

“I think the hardest part is thinking you have this beautiful healthy baby come out and then finding out that they’re about to face more challenges than you’re prepared to handle,” said Simmons.

Sadie has already had her 1st open heart surgery.

“We are not naïve as to think that something won’t come up in the future,” said Simmons.  “heart conditions are very critical.”

Under the proposed American Health Care Act, Sadie has a preexisting condition, which means future insurance carriers can deny her coverage.

Sadie’s doctor, ECU physician Dr. Charlie Sang, said Sadie is strong and will have a good life.

“She is gonna be rotten,” said Sang with a smile. “She is gonna be high maintenance. She is gonna love everything that other kids do.”

Her mother Carrie said she won’t let anything keep her baby girl from happiness.

“We will always face the preexisting condition challenge, and we just hope that doesn’t get taken away from us,” said Simmons.

But unexpected procedures down the line bring about financial worry

“We just got our first hospital bill a few days ago and it was over $160,000,” Simmons said. “Our insurance hasn’t covered yet, but we don’t know what we are going to be left with.”

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