Josiah will be undergoing major surgery on Thursday. (Photo submitted)
Josiah will be undergoing major surgery on Thursday. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT – It’s a hard week for a Van Wert mother whose child will be undergoing a critical heart procedure in Columbus on Thursday. Her son, Josiah, will be going to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to replace a “BT shunt,” a follow-up on a major surgery that he underwent following his birth.

“They have to go in and make that bigger,” said Natasha Boroff. “He will have to undergo three stages of surgeries. This is the second stage to increase his blood flow.”

Another surgery will be needed to replace a tube from his heart to his lungs. Josiah is currently seven months old; he was two weeks old when he had his first surgery.

Boroff explained that her son’s pulmonary arteries were originally not big enough to connect. Physicians had to build tubes together in order to ensure a proper blood flow in a process known as, “unifocalization of pulmonary arteries.”

Boroff explained that Josiah was born in May of 2017 with a condition known as “heterotaxy.” He only had half of his heart; the left side of his heart had not formed. In addition, there was a hole in the other portion of his heart that was causing a murmur.

“He will have a third surgery between two and three years to replace the shunt and tubes to his heart and lungs,” said Boroff. “Eventually, at some point he will need a heart transplant further down the road.”

Josiah is the fifth child of Boroff and Landon Clifton. The other four are considered very healthy. Josiah’s condition was discovered when he was given a gender ultrasound. In addition, it was discovered that the right side of his stomach and mid portion of his liver were displaced. It was also discovered that he has no spleen.

In spite of the fact that Josiah has to be given daily medications and blood thinner shots, Boroff describes her son as a “very happy baby.”

“If you look at him, you wouldn’t know that there is anything wrong,” observed Boroff. “We are so thankful for each moment we can spend with him. We are aware that we are not guaranteed a second with him. For 17 weeks we were told that he wasn’t going to make it. Here, he is seven months old and is still with us.

“We want people to pray for us,” continued Boroff. “I will be off work at least for the month of December. I don’t want to take any chances of exposing him to any sicknesses.”

An account for donations for Josiah is set up in the First Bank of Berne under, “Tammy May.”