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Koehler lives with heart defect

It was a scary time for Emily and Jon Koehler last summer. Their 6-1/2 month old daughter, Evie, was suddenly having great difficulty after trying some peanut butter. With her tiny fingers and toes beginning turning blue, Evie was rushed from Lester Prairie to Glencoe Regional Health Services.
“I thought she was having an allergic reaction,” said Emily, a teacher at Glencoe-Silver Lake High School.
However, after an emergency flight to Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities, the reason for Evie’s malaise was discovered – she had a congenital heart defect known as “Tetralogy of Fallot.”
“Her oxygen levels were really low,” Emily said. “An EKG (electrocardiogram) taken a few days later found the defect.”
According to the American Heart Association, Tetralogy of Farrot is a defect that features four problems: a hole between the lower chambers of the heart, an obstruction from the heart to the lungs, the aorta (blood vessel) lies over the hold in the lower chambers, and the muscle surrounding the lower right chamber becoming overly thickened. While it is a common defect, the cause is still unknown.
Evie underwent open heart surgery right away to repair the defect. While other procedures will follow in the coming years, the prognosis is good.
“She has a patch and will need another surgery when she is around 5 or 6 years old,” Emily said. “But otherwise, she is doing well and on track for her other developmental levels. She’s a normal 14 month old.”
The Morgan family was connected to the Tim Orth Memorial (TOMF) Foundation through another GSL teacher, Josh Otto-Fisher, who also works with the foundation. They found out about being a TOMF recipient near the end of last 2017.
“We were very happy to hear about it,” Emily said. “We’ll be at the event on Saturday and will be bringing some of our family members as well. We’ve heard very good things and are looking forward to being a part of it.”