Families from throughout the Intermountain Region receive surgery for severe heart valve disease at the Heart Center at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

The Heart Center at Primary Children’s Hospital is attracting families from throughout the Intermountain Region to receive the ROSS surgical procedure for severe heart valve disease.

Primary Children’s is a high-volume ROSS procedure center – 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, said 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 5-year-old Creedon McCall. The Twin Falls, Idaho boy was flown to 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 Primary Children’s or one of the clinics.

– If a child has a heart condition, Primary Children’s experts will be needed to help. Primary Children’s heart clinics are open at the hospital in Salt Lake City, and in St. George and southeastern Idaho. 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 will open in 2024 in Lehi, Utah.

More information is available at PrimaryChildrens.org.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., www.intermountainhealth.org is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.