Harrison Axel Esquinaldo
Harrison was born to Harrison and Alicia Esquinaldo on May 18, 2016 in Key West. Almost immediately, Harrison was flown to Nicklaus Children's Hospital where they quickly discovered complex congenital heart defects. Harrison was born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) which is holes in the heart. The hole (defect) occurs in the wall (septum) that separates the heart's lower chambers (ventricles) and allows blood to pass from the left to the right side of the heart. Harrison also had Pulmonary Atresia. Pulmonary Atresia is a birth defect of the pulmonary valve, which is the valve that controls blood flow from the right ventricle (lower right chamber of the heart) to the main pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs). Pulmonary Atresia occurs when this valve doesn't form at all, and no blood can go from the right ventricle of the heart out to the lungs. Needless to say, this was a huge shock to our family. Harrison spent the next 11 days in the cardiac ICU fighting for his life. He underwent two open heart surgeries and several procedures to try to repair his heart. Our world came crashing down on May 29th when we were told that our sweet boy would no longer be able to fight this tremendous fight. Although only 11 days old, Harrison proved that he was such a fighter and the strongest boy we have ever known. Harrison’s Dad, Harrison, along with his grandfather, David, own Esky Rods, a local fishing rod and tackle shop. Since his passing, our family has wanted to do something in his honor that we know he would have enjoyed doing if he was still with us. This is where “Reelin' for the Cause” came to life. We hope this will be a family fun event that will take place for many years to come, bringing awareness to and raising money for a cause that is so near and dear to our heart, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness.