Carter Rainey on the road to recovery after undergoing heart surgery

The young boy had a VSD hole in his heart that required surgery to fix.
Carter Rainey
Carter Rainey(Family photos)
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Carter Rainey was recently discharged from the hospital, three days after having open heart surgery.

He got out last Friday, right before Memorial Day weekend.

”His whole care team was amazed by his progress, and record-time recovery,” his mom, Sara, said. “We’re now settling into being at home. I’m breathing a sigh of relief to have my oldest child back at home.”

Sara is a NICU nurse in Gastonia. She actually worked with the mom of one of our other #MollysKids, Tracey Burrell. Her son, Cooper, passed away earlier this year after a difficult battle with cancer.

Sara originally reached out last month, right after they found out Carter needed surgery to repair a VSD hole in his heart. That hole was causing his heart to pump ineffectively and become enlarged.

”It was shocking to us,” Sara said. “Carter had heart surgery right after birth at 11 days old, but all of his heart check-ups since that initial heart surgery, have been completely normal. For years now he has been stable. I thought we were done and over the hardest part of our lives, which was his long NICU stay. But, here we are again. Four years later.”

Sara said perspective is everything. While at Levine Children’s Hospital, Carter’s family saw other kids whose situations were much worse than theirs.

”It really puts things into focus,” she said. “The whole experience has been humbling and reminds me, again, why I became a nurse and why I work with kids. I am so thankful for my healthy boy.”

She said this latest surgery was more invasive and riskier than the one he had as a newborn. She said the family was—understandably—anxious and scared, and didn’t know what else to do but wait and pray, and hope for the best.

Good news is, all seems stable and on the way to a good recovery so far.

Welcome, Carter, to #MollysKids.

- Molly