access intranet after hours circle-arrow apply blog caret circle arrow close closer look community outreach community outreach contact contact us down arrow facebook lock solid find a provider find a clinical trial find a provider find a researcher find faculty find-a-service how to apply join leadership left arrow locations logo make a gift map location maximize minimize my chart my chart notification hp notification lp next chevron right nxt prev pay your bill play previous quality and safety refer a patient request a speaker request appointment request an appointment residents corner rss search search jobs Asset 65 submit a story idea symptom checker Arrow Circle Up twitter youtube Dino Logo External Link University Logo Color University Logo Solid Health Logo Solid Arrow Right Circle Book Calendar Date Calendar Search Date Diploma Certificate Dollar Circle Donate Envelope Graduation Cap Map Pin Map Search Phone Pills Podcast
Artists rendering of the view of the Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital from the Ashley River

Heart warrior Andi Claire

Heather Perkins
February 12, 2019
Andi Claire with her physician

In honor of American Heart Month and the incredible $5 million gift just announced for the heart program in our new hospital, we want you to meet one of our heart families. The Copelands have been coming to MUSC since their daughter Andi Claire was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. HLHS is a birth defect that affects blood flow and prevents the left side of the heart from developing.

We recently caught up with Andi Claire’s dad, Jeff, who shared some amazing news with us!

Tell us what brought Andi Claire to MUSC.

Andi Claire

In January 2015, we found out at my wife's 20-week ultrasound that there was a problem. We were sent to our local hospital to have a different ultrasound done and that was when we found out about Andi Claire's heart condition. We chose to have everything done at MUSC Children's Hospital after doing some of our own research and seeing that MUSC had some of the top-ranking doctors. We came down to Charleston for the day to meet with (pediatric cardiology nurse practitioner) Frances Woodard and Dr. Sinai Zyblewski. We were given a lot of information and then a tour of the hospital. The plan was to come back down the first part of May and my wife would be induced on May 8.

We came down to Charleston the Sunday before the scheduled inducement. On the morning of the inducement, we were taken upstairs to meet with Dr. Tripp Nelson and the process was started. A little after 5 p.m. that day, we were in the delivery room looking at our little miracle! We were able to see her for just a short time before the nurses had to take her down to the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU). In the next day or so, we met with Dr. Minoo Kavarana, who explained in detail what would be coming in the next several days. Andi Claire had her first open-heart surgery at 5 days old and we were in the hospital for eight weeks before we went home. After about seven weeks at home, her heart started failing and she and my wife had to be flown down to Charleston. I drove down that night and met them. At exactly 4 months old, Andi Claire had her second emergency open-heart surgery. We were in the hospital this time for nine weeks before going home.

Can you tell us a little more about Andi Claire’s journey with the heart program at MUSC Children’s Hospital? How is she doing today?

Since coming home, Andi Claire has been getting better and better by the day! We are currently waiting for her third, and hopefully final, open-heart surgery. Andi Claire has defied the odds against her and she has definitely proved that she is a fighter!

We understand that you have received some exciting news about her long-term treatment plan.

Andi Claire was placed on the heart transplant list before being released to come home the second time. She has been doing so well that we received a call from (nurse practitioner) Ali Burnette saying that after they had met with us in Greenville, they went back and shared her progress with the other team of doctors. We are thrilled to share that Andi Claire has officially been taken off the heart transplant list!

What are you and your family most excited about in the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital?

The thing I am most excited about is having a brand-new facility with amazing new technology that will be able to help patients in many different ways. It will also be nice to have all visits in one place.

About the Author

Heather Perkins

Keywords: Patient stories