NEWS | March 18, 2020

UC Davis Children's Hospital pediatric cardiology patient is living his best life

(SACRAMENTO)

Casey Dyke has been a patient of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital from day one. Actually, even before that.

Pediatric cardiology patient Casey Dyke, left, shares his story with IHOP patrons to raise awareness about CMN at UC Davis Children's Hospital. Pediatric cardiology patient Casey Dyke, left, shares his story with IHOP patrons to raise awareness about CMN at UC Davis Children's Hospital.

Prenatal testing told Gina and Michael Dyke that their son would need a series of operations to correct a heart defect. A crucial valve was missing from his heart, inhibiting it from circulating oxygen-rich blood to his body.

Casey required the procedures sooner than expected. Just days after birth, he had his first heart surgery. The second operation happened in Casey’s room in UC Davis Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) while he was still recovering from the first procedure.

"We literally didn't know if he was going to make it, and we were scared to ask," said Gina Dyke. "All you're thinking is, 'He has to live.'”

By the time Casey was 4-years-old, he had four complex heart surgeries. His parents estimate that Casey spent a year in the PICU recovering from his heart surgeries and several other health problems.

Gina Dyke praises UC Davis Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, and especially their pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, Gary Raff, for their son being alive today. Casey is now a healthy and active teenager.

"It's amazing that a boy born with the odds against him can go on to have such a normal life. I'm extremely grateful for what UC Davis has done for him," Gina Dyke said.

UC Davis Children's Hospital is the Sacramento region's only nationally ranked, comprehensive hospital providing care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults with primary, subspecialty and critical care. It includes the Central Valley's only pediatric emergency department and level I pediatric trauma center, which offers the highest level of care for its critically ill patients, as well as a level I children’s surgery center. The 129-bed children's hospital includes the state-of-the-art 49-bed neonatal and 24-bed pediatric intensive care and pediatric cardiac intensive care units. For more information, visit children.ucdavis.edu.