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Small boy becomes big inspiration

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BATON ROUGE - Finding out your newborn child has a major health problem is many parents' worst nightmare.

It happened to Trina and Black Keller of Livingston Parish on Aug. 23, 2011. They were told their newborn son Easton had a congenital heart defect, and needed a major surgery to survive.

"Right after birth, his stats went down and he started turning blue, so they knew something was going on," Trina Keller told News 2.

The cause: the two main arteries in Easton's heart were switched, and weren't pumping blood they way they were supposed to. He went through open heart surgery when he was just six days old.

"It was from a high, you know, a baby being born... to the lowest you can go," said Blake Keller.

It's estimated that 40,000 children are born with heart defects each year, about 8 out of every 1,000 infants. Surgeons were able to correct Easton's defect, and he sees a pediatric cardiologist every six months.

"Strangers look at him and say he's amazing, that's a beautiful healthy little boy... They would never know what he's been through," Trina Keller said.

So, the family formed "Team Easton" for the Capital Area Heart Walk. They made T-shirts to take part, and give hope to other families facing similar circumstances. The Heart Walks attract more than 20,000 people to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association.

The Capital Area Heart Walk is Saturday, April 13 at LSU's Old Front Nine.



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