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Meet Jaxon, a Strapping 7 Year Old with a Superman Scar

Meet Jaxon, a Strapping 7 Year Old with a Superman Scar

Jaxon Farmer is a strapping 7-year-old boy who loves football and digs dirt bikes. Despite his heart condition, his is hardly a rocking-chair existence. His big sister, Reece, who is three years older, wouldn’t let that happen anyway.

Beautiful blonde kids with easy smiles, Reece takes on the role of Mama Bear, but Jaxon holds his own. Reece coaxes and prods Jaxon a little to speak up and he shoots her an eye roll. It’s a sweet dynamic, and they’re happy to be together. But things could have been so different.

At birth, Jaxon was deemed a healthy baby boy. A mother’s intuition prompted many doctor checkups for Jaxon in his first few weeks, but puzzlingly, no problems were found. Still, Jaxon’s mother, Rylie Farmer, a nurse, knew something just wasn’t right. Her tiny son was not thriving.

”One day when he was about 7 weeks old, he wasn’t breathing well, he was completely blue and we took him to the local hospital,” Rylie recalled. “Next thing he was in a helicopter going to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital.”

Her infant son in the air, Rylie and her husband Justin rushed from Ardmore to Oklahoma City to be with baby Jaxon. It was only when he arrived at Children’s that the state’s foremost pediatric experts were able to start piecing things together.

Jaxon was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect (ASD), a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and a vascular ring.

“ASD and VSD are holes in the heart that cause too much blood to go to the lungs and too little going out to the body,” explained pediatric cardiologist Kent Ward, M.D. “Over weeks and months this can lead to severe heart failure. In addition, the vascular ring causes breathing problems because the blood vessels are wrapped around the trachea and bronchial tubes.”

ASD and VSD are fairly common and are usually found at birth or prenatally. Jaxon’s was not found until he was nearly 2 months old. Lacking oxygen, even things like eating and swallowing were a struggle for Jaxon. He was using all of his energy just breathing.

"Basically he had to use all of his energy just to stay alive,” recalled Rylie.

At 4 months old, little Jaxon had open heart surgery to close both holes and to repair the vascular ring. The pediatric cardiology and cardiovascular surgery team at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is the only surgical program for infants and children in the state of Oklahoma. They repaired Jaxon’s heart so he could start thriving.

“We put back together these hearts that are sometimes no bigger than a strawberry and help these beautiful children live long and healthy lives,” said Dr. Ward. “There’s no better job.”

Now a first grader, Jaxon has seen the family pictures of when he came out of surgery. Once a source of some embarrassment, Jaxon now shows off his surgery scar.

“He calls his heart surgery scar his ‘Superman scar’ now,” Rylie said.

Scar or not, Jaxon is full steam ahead. He plays football, rides dirt bikes and loves animals. Right now, life is about family, fun and friends.

Learn more about Oklahoma Children’s Hospital pediatric heart services, and watch Jaxon in our latest Oklahoma Children’s Hospital commercial at www.oklahomachildrens.org/kidssoar.