Garrison is a hilarious, sweet and kind 10-year-old. He loves video games, swimming, and making people laugh. He has a unique perspective on life that allows him to be able to see the big picture instead of taking things too seriously.
He is an enthusiastic reader who soaks up information like a sponge. He is a proud, straight A student. He also enjoys cub scouts, the outdoors and playing with friends and family. He has a wonderful imagination and aspires to have his own video game podcast soon.
Like many others, Garrison’s heart journey started before he was born. His parents lived in Greensboro but were referred to a cardiologist in Winston Salem to do a fetal echocardiogram when the sonogram didn’t look right. Garrison was diagnosed with having a narrow arch (coarctation of the aorta), with a high risk of HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) very early in utero.
The doctor who diagnosed him gave his parents the options of 1) terminating the pregnancy or 2) referring them to doctors who specialized in this type of surgery. They relied on their faith and asked friends and family to pray for him. The cardiologist referred them to surgeons in Boston, MA, Pennsylvania, PA and Charlotte, NC. They chose to have the birth and continue his care in Charlotte where they had the close support of friends and family. As the pregnancy grew closer to the time of birth, Garrison’s mitral valve began to open up and blood began to flow more normally on the left side. The only surgery that was required was the repair of the narrow arch. They’ve had to balloon once and are continuing to keep an eye on re-narrowing, but he and his family are humbled and thankful things have gone so well.
Garrison knows how blessed he is and has been the top fundraiser at this school for the Kids’ Heart Challenge every year since kindergarten. Giving back to Hands for Hearts and helping people in Greensboro have elite care here without having to travel during stressful times is a wonderful opportunity for Garrison and others. He is humbled and thankful to be able to help out in any way possible!