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The story of the 'Unborn Fighter'

HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - The Twichell's are a young loving family of three, soon to be for. There are many challenges that lie ahead for this young family, ones no one should ever face alone.

It's a boy! Those are the words, the Twichell's had been waiting to hear, when they went in for their 20 week anatomy scan. But it's the words that came next, that shook their entire world. Words that can render any parent speechless. They learned their son would be born with an anatomical defect. 

"We were hoping that they were all wrong, but it turns out they weren't. And we kinda just look on the bright side and be grateful that they found something and gave us a lot of time to prepare.", said Kirsten Southard-Twichell. 

The Twichell's already have a 18 month- old named Harper. However, with a new baby on the way, Harper won't be an only an only child for much longer. Her brother Anderson Ethan Twichell, is set to join her in just a few weeks time. 

Anderson Ethan Twichell.The name means, "strong and brave". He isn't even born yet, and he's already living up to his namesake.

Earlier this year, The Twichell's learned Anderson will be born with a congenital heart condition called 
Congenital Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries or CCTGA. It's a very rare heart condition that affects less than .5% of all congenital heart diseases. 

The aorta and the pulmonary artery switched when he was developing in the first few weeks of life. And to further complicate things, Anderson's condition goes a step further. The ventricles ended up switching and his heart tried to make up for it.

He also has something called a Ventricular Septal Defect, where there's a fairly moderate sized hole in-between his left ventricle and his right ventricle 

After learning this, Kirsten and her husband searched all over from Elmira to Rochester, in hopes of finding a simple answer.

This family has long road ahead of them. In order for Anderson to have a better chance of life, he will need multiple corrective surgeries in the first year of life. While surgery is the only option, and it comes with a hefty price tag. Not only do the surgeries add up, but so do travel and living expenses. 

That’s why the Twichell's created a GoFundMe page called Staying Upbeat for Anderson's Congenital Heart Defect. Thanks to the help of the community the page has amassed $13,000. 

Anderson Ethan Twichell. He's a fighter and his story is only just beginning. 

For more about Anderson and his condition, click here


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