Knoxville baby recovering from second open heart surgery

8:05 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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7-month-old Nora Worley is recovering from her second open heart surgery.

Thursday marks the beginning of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week.

Meanwhile, a Knoxville baby is recovering from her second open heart surgery.

Nora Worley, 7 months old, returned to Knoxville last week after spending 22 days at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

"She was diagnosed with atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) which is basically a hole in the center the heart and her left side is nonexistent," said Nora's mother, April Burger.

Burger went on to say, "First, we thought she was perfect. There was nothing wrong with her."

On the third day after Nora was born, doctors noticed her heart murmur would not close.

"I guess there was like a 50/50 chance she would've made it. Depends if we would've caught it or not, she would've just been in congestive heart failure," Burger explained.

Nora's first open heart surgery came at seven days old.

The family spent five weeks in the hospital.

"I freaked out just as any other parent would. I freaked out a little bit, thought the worst," said Justin Worley, Nora's father.

A new law took effect in January to help better detect CHD.

It requires all doctors to screen newborns for heart disease with a device called a pulse oximeter.

After two open heart surgeries, Nora's parents say she is a "whole new" baby.

She will undergo her final surgery between the ages of two and three years old.

The family created crotchet hearts to help raise money for medical bills as well for CHD awareness.

You can find them at

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