Heart surgery infant returns to L.A.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Three-month-old Jerrick DeLeon, who is believed to be the smallest baby ever to undergo an arterial switch operation, receives a helping hand from his mother shortly before leaving Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

Jerrick DeLeon was discharged April 2 from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital after having an operation that many doctors had thought could not succeed. On Feb. 6, Jerrick, who was then 1 week old, became the smallest baby ever to have a type of open-heart surgery called an arterial switch procedure. Born more than 13 weeks early, he weighed about 1.5 pounds with a heart the size of a grape on the day of the surgery. After weeks of battling other complications of prematurity, Jerrick—now weighing 2.5 pounds (see above)—became strong enough to move to a Los Angeles hospital, closer to home, to continue his recovery.