'Blue baby' survives heart surgery

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A local couple had the scare of a lifetime when doctors found an abnormality during their pregnancy.

First time parents, Abby and Blake Morhardt, went in for a typical check-up when Abby was 20 weeks pregnant and found out their baby might have some complications.

"We were shocked, we didn't think that was going to happen to us. It was kind of hard to process in the moment. I don't really remember anything of what he said, i just remember Blake asked the name again to have it written down," said parents Abby and Blake Morhardt.

Their baby boy was diagnosed with 'tetrology of fallot', a heart defect which causes low-oxygen blood to flow out. The low oxygen levels turn the skin blue, which is where the term 'blue babies' comes from. It is a similar condition which Jimmy Kimmel's son and professional snowboarder Shaun White have.

Doctor Margaret Greco is a pediatric cardiologist at UW Health's Swedish American Hospital. After closely monitoring baby Gretzky, she determined he needed heart surgery.

"We really don't have a good understanding of 100 percent why it happens. It does runs on spectrums, from very mild to very severe. Depending on where you land on that spectrum, it's going to determine your outcome," said Dr. Greco.

At seven months old, Gretzky is healthy and quite active.

"He's teething right now so he's not the nicest boy. Hes' not a good napper, he's a good eater," said Abby.

Gretzky will soon be a big brother as the Morhardts are expecting a baby girl in June.