Story of Healing

Adalee Baker

Richland Parish


"There are blessings all around. Believe it or not, they are there. A lot of time, they’re in scrubs. We just love our CHNOLA family!"

In Delhi, Louisiana lives the Baker family. The youngest of the family is Adalee Baker, a heart patient who was diagnosed with congenital heart defects while in utero. Mom, Mandi Baker, learned about Adalee’s multiple heart conditions during her pregnancy at her 22- week anatomy scan.

“My doctors referred us to Children’s Hospital New Orleans to see Dr. Michael Brummund, the cardiologist,” explained Mandi. “He did confirm that Adalee had congenital heart defects and was diagnosed as a single ventricle child which basically means she only has half of a heart and she would need three open heart surgeries.”

“Congenital heart defects are something we do every day. It’s our specialty. As you know, they are really quite common and happen about every 1 in 100 live births,” says Dr. Michael Brummund. “We here at Children’s Hospital, we can manage them in utero as a fetus, we can take care of their delivery, we can manage their surgical needs, and follow them into adulthood.”

Mandi temporarily moved to New Orleans, about five hours from her home, to deliver Adalee at Touro. Here, she would have the specialized care of Touro’s Maternal Fetal Medicine team, and be just a stone’s throw away from the expert surgeons Children’s Hospital. At 10 days old, Adalee had her first open heart surgery which was really tough on the entire Baker family, who also has a son. But, Mandi felt that all of Adalee’s caregivers were so comforting. “The nurses are by your side the whole way. They sit with you and they explain the whole time and then they let us take her home. We also brought home a heart monitor,” explained Mandi.

Children’s Hospital’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) has as on call doctor 24/7, so knowing that she could call at any point in time, and have questions answered gave Mandi peace of mind. “They give you some sense of comfort even though you are not there. Especially for us because we were very far away from the hospital. We were about five hours,” said Mandi.

Adalee is now two years old and she is projected to have a third heart surgery in the next few years. “We will never be able to thank the healthcare providers at Children’s Hospital for everything they have done for her and our family,” shared Mandi. “There are blessings all around. Believe it or not, they are there. A lot of time, they’re in scrubs. We just love our CHNOLA family!”
Click here to learn more about the Heart Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and how it helps kids like Adalee.