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The Panos Story

The Panos Story - Acardiac Twin

“There’s a complication.” Our journey began with these words, a parents’ worst nightmare. Thanks to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Dr. Chmait, our dream ended positively on October 23, with the birth of our daughter, Sheigh Marion Panos. Sheigh arrived via c-section weighing 8 lbs, 9 oz and 21 inches long. Today, she is a healthy, happy baby. There were days when her future was in question.

At 20 weeks, we had our first ultrasound, anxious to learn our baby’s health and gender. We saw a seemingly healthy baby. But our hearts sank as the technician pointed to a mass of undeveloped baby – without a heart. Immediately we sought advice from a specialist. I was diagnosed with TRAP sequence or acardiac twin.

After a very long weekend filled with anxiety, we learned that we were approved for fetal surgery with Dr. Chmait. The next day, we went to Los Angeles from our home in Hawaii. We met our case coordinator and Dr. Chmait, both of whom were a wonderful blessing and put us at ease. I was put through more tests, surgery and a closely monitored inpatient stay for two days. The surgery was deemed a success, and we were back home in Hawaii by Friday.

Anyone who has been hospitalized knows that it is not the most pleasurable of experiences, but the entire staff (surgeon and team, labor and delivery staff - even dietary staff) made our stay as comfortable as it could be. They really went above and beyond and exceeded our expectations. Most importantly, Sheigh is growing strong and all of us are enjoying her life. Thank you, Dr. Chmait, for turning what could have been a nightmare into a truly happy ending.

- Steve, Heidi and Sheigh Panos