Looking at 5-year-old Molly Frasier, you’d never know she was born with a congenital heart defect. Her infectious spirit has led countless toy donations to Golisano Children’s Hospital, a place that had a big impact on her during her first year of life.
Molly’s parents, Amanda and Jon, found out when Molly was just 1 month old that she had a heart condition during an appointment with their pediatrician. They had scheduled an appointment with the Children’s Heart Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital to find out what was wrong with Molly, but prior to her appointment, Amanda noticed her daughter was turning purple and needed medical attention sooner.
“The prevailing memory that I have from the experience was the support we received from the care team at Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Amanda. “I remember them being very honest, telling us that they would do their best to care for our little girl, and that they would hope for the best.”
Molly would need open heart surgery at just five-weeks-old to fix her aorta, which was too narrow to pump oxygenated blood to her body. Her heart was forced to pump harder to get blood through the coarctation, which ultimately was what hospitalized her.
Francisco Gensini, M.D., and George Alfieris, M.D., cut Molly’s aorta from her heart and reconstructed a new one from her heart tissue.
“Molly’s repair required deep hypothermia and circulatory arrest for 37 minutes,” said Gensini. “We froze Molly down to 20 degrees Celsius in order to completely stop blood circulation for the repair to be completed.”
Molly needed 8 weeks to recover in the pediatric critical intensive care unit. But after struggling to get off a ventilator, Molly pulled through and was able to head home to Lyndonville, NY.
However, Molly’s journey continues today. Molly still has a heart murmur which Alfieris and Gensini left alone. Once Molly gets older, she’ll need valve replacements done. That won’t be for a while, as she’ll need to be full grown because the valves won’t grow with her.
Until then, Molly will remain a source of joy in Lyndonville. Each year, she and her brother, Jonathan, have collected toys and donated them to the sick kids at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“They raise the money on their own and love behind able to help others,” said Amanda. “Because of the kindness that was shown to our family at the children’s hospital, we hope to continue this tradition for the foreseeable future.”