DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Evan Strauss just turned seven. He was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and had to undergo multiple surgeries, including a heart transplant in 2019. Since then, he has been able to live a normal life. He goes to school, plays basketball, and even joined karate.
However, his parents, Jessica and Ryan, started to notice a change over the last couple of months, landing them back at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“Recently, he started getting kind of puffy again, and his energy levels weren’t where they should be when he was trying to do the activities that he likes to do,” Jessica said.
Evan was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, a disease with no cure. They only thing they can do is try to slow the progression.
“There’s nothing they can do except we’re doing a trial medication to see if it’ll slow it down, but right now they’re reevaluating him to see if he is a candidate for a second transplant,” Jessica said.
A second transplant and he is only seven. His parents are still in disbelief.
“The constant battles every day. And it’s all the same meetings and everything is the same that we heard four years ago. You’re dropped right back where you were four years ago.” Jessica said.
Jessica and Ryan are now trying to get back into the routine of driving back and forth from Dayton and Cincinnati. This time around, Ryan is staying at the hospital with Evan fulltime.
“We’re trying to keep normalcy for our daughter too, which a lot of people forget about the siblings. It’s hard on Evan, but it’s really hard on his sister too. But she’s been amazing,” Jessica said.
Evan and his parents will be with the surgeon on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of the second heart transplant. While they wait for a plan of action, they know they are not waiting alone. They say the community’s support throughout Evan’s health journey has been amazing, and helps them hold on to hope for the future.
“We are not alone in this. We have the best support system that we could have. So that’s one positive that he did. There are good people everywhere and he reminds us of that every single day,” Jessica said.
The Strauss family is grateful to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and to the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati for taking such great care of them while they go through this journey. A GoFundMe Page has also been started to help pay for Evan’s medical bills. To donate, click here.