LUBBOCK, Texas — A Lubbock infant is recovering from major heart surgery after spending his entire life in the hospital, his mother told KLBK News on Wednesday.

Born in June, baby Detwaune, has spent the last two months in the neonatal intensive care unit in Lubbock, as doctors monitored two, rare, congenital heart defects that they diagnosed while he was in utero.

Doctors determined he was finally strong enough for surgery, so last Wednesday, they flew Detwaune to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

They operated on Friday, intubated and sedated him for several days after, and then on Wednesday, finally woke him.

The two defects, Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), are almost always associated with each other. They impact 1 in every 10,000 infants, according to a UMC neonatologist.

“The right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs and the left side of the heart pumps blood to the body. [In] this condition, the right heart is doing all the work and pumping the blood both to the lungs and to the body,” said Dr. Melissa Piepkorn with UMC Neonatology.

Until the problem is fixed with surgery, the condition can make it difficult for babies like Detwaune to function regularly, breathe and eat.

“I would have never thought that I would have to deal with something like this. This is the hardest thing a mother has to deal with, so just pay attention to certain signs,” said his mother Amber Ramos.

The condition is not always diagnosed before birth. If your infant is “blue or a little purple, [does not] feed [or] grow well, or when they do feed, they’re kind of sweaty or have a hard time breathing,” Dr. Piepkorn began, “Babies that are breathing faster than normal or seem like they’re working hard to breathe- that can be a symptom of these cardiac defects.”

Babies may also seem sleepier than usual, or “as parents would describe it, just kind of seem out of it,” she added, encouraging any parents who see these symptoms to talk with their pediatricians.

The surgery, barring complications, should help correct the problem, but the Ramos family will have to wait and see where the recovery process takes them, as the infant is also battling Pneumonia.

Ramos said she has high hopes for her happy baby, “to come home, live a normal life. Nobody wants to put limits on their children- even in the long run from sports and everything like that.”

The prognosis for the condition is good with surgery and medication, Dr. Piepkorn explained, but it can still be tough for families, especially those from the Hub City who have to travel to the other side of the state for this kind of life-saving care.

“Even once the surgery is completed, that baby’s able to go home, they will have lifelong, ongoing medical care that’s going to be needed. It can be very, very expensive. Well above $100,000 for this care,” she shared.

Ramos said the Ronald McDonald House was full when they arrived in Fort Worth, so they have had to pay out-of-pocket for a hotel. They also have two months of ICU bills and older children to take care of, so a family friend set up a GoFundMe. You can donate here.