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Survivor Story: Tommy Hale

Posted by Pete Visintin on

Written by Sarah Hale
Contributed by Susan Gordon


"He was not born into this world in defeat, nor does failure flow through his veins."


Tommy was born on August 6, 2016.  Before he was delivered his heart rate became elevated so the doctors decided to get him out as quick as possible.  Upon delivery he was so exhausted, due to his elevated heart rate in the womb that he hesitated to take his first breath.  


While we were at the hospital his heart rate rarely fell below 170 BPM.  They did, however, allow us to go home after some tests and monitoring.


I made his two week check up at the pediatrician for the next week when he was nine days old.  Thank God I did because at this appointment his pediatrician noticed his heart rate was elevated to 230 BPM.  His doctor told me to take him to Mercy emergency cardiology center right away.  


When we arrived there his heart rate was 280 BPM.  The doctors tried a variety of methods that usually work to reset the heart rate.  All of these attempts failed.  They then started him on some medications that they thought would work to bring his rate down.  These again failed.  


During the process of administering these medications I walked over to my baby and saw that he was pale.  After I stated this the doctors and nurses realized his heart rate and blood pressure were rapidly dropping, and he went into cardiac arrest.  



They then started to perform CPR on my tiny infant.  All we could do was hold our breath and pray that we would hear his cry.  Once they were able to get him stable they sedated him and put in a breathing tube.  They then air lifted him to St. Louis Children's Hospital.


Once at Children's they put in IVs to get his medication started.  The medication worked to lower his heart rate.  They determined he had a rare heart arrhythmia called Congenital JET (Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia).  


Tommy was at Children's for three weeks while his doctors worked to find the right dosage of medication to keep his heart rate down.  We were sent home on his one month with two medications that are administered twice a day and a heart rate monitor for him to wear 24/7 which sends information to his doctor.  


It is our new normal to schedule his day around receiving his medications and checking his heart rate with a stethoscope.  Tommy can have an ablation done when he is 32 lbs to fix the extra nerve firing in his heart.  Until then we are constantly monitoring him and going to specialty doctor appointments with his electro physiologist.  


Tommy is our fighter, and he has been through more in his one month on this earth than most people  go through in a lifetime!


- Sarah


More than 50% of the proceeds from all Fight the Fight purchases made between December 1st, 2016 and December 15th, 2016 will be donated to Tommy's family to help cover medical-related expenses.


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  • Sending prayers for this sweet baby and his family.

    Chris Nadeau on

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