MIRACLE CHILD – Sanderson Farms Corporate Logistics Clerk Overcomes Rare Heart Defect as an Infant

-by Ashley Rea, Manager of Communication

At only three months old, Corporate Logistics Clerk, Lana Craft, had already survived open-heart surgery to correct a hole in her heart that she was born with. Only a month prior, the two-month-old infant had been diagnosed with total anomalous pulmonary venous connection, which is a very rare heart defect in the veins leading from the lungs to the heart.

The rare heart defect that Craft was born with not only left a hole in her own tiny heart, but it left an equally large hole in the hearts of her adoring parents, Dan Craft and Stephanie Bynum, of Indian Springs, Mississippi. Craft’s birth defect caused her blood to not take the normal route from the lungs to the heart and out to the body. Instead, the veins from the lungs attach to the heart in abnormal positions, causing oxygenated blood to enter or leak into the wrong chamber of the heart.

Two days after the Christmas of 1992, the Craft family traveled to Batson Children’s Hospital so that Craft could be examined by a pediatric cardiologist. “She couldn’t breath and she threw up all the time,” said Craft’s mother, Stephanie. “Her respirations were about half of what they were supposed to be.”

“When we got to Jackson, the doctor would not let us come home,” continued Stephanie. “She was so sick that they kept her under oxygen all weekend to prepare her for surgery, which they performed on New Year’s Eve. The doctors said the Lord guided each of them in the surgery and they corrected the problem totally.”
According to several members of Craft’s family, she was a “miracle child.” “It’s God who did all of this,” said Stephanie. “The doctors were amazed that she was alive and well. It’s just a miracle.”

After two days and nights in the intensive care unit and two and a half weeks in the hospital, the Craft family was ready to return home with their little “miracle child.” Thanks to the excellent care and life-saving surgery she received at Batson Children’s Hospital, Craft could grow up to embody the miracle that her life truly was.

Today, those that meet Craft would never know she was born with a rare heart defect that makes her current health and prosperity a true “miracle.” “My surgeon truly went above and beyond the call of duty,” said Craft. “I remember hearing stories as a young child of how my surgeon stood at my bedside for hours after my surgery, and it always made me feel beyond special to know that someone cared that much about my life. He performed my surgery with such precision that my current cardiologist swears he would never know I had surgery if he didn’t see my medical charts.”

Now a mother of her own to a five-year-old daughter, she can’t imagine living in a state that doesn’t provide the type of life-saving pediatric care that she was afforded as a baby. “Living in a state with state-of-the-art pediatric care means not having to hear things like, ‘if she lives for 24 hours, we will perform surgery,’” said Craft. “Because of companies like Sanderson Farms, Batson Children’s Hospital can continue making life-changing medical advancements.”

For Craft, volunteering at the Sanderson Farms Championship is just a small way she can give back as an employee of Sanderson Farms and a former patient at Batson Children’s Hospital. “With each passing day, the impact Batson Children’s Hospital has had on my life is immeasurable,” said Craft. “I am often reminded of how blessed I am to have such an incredible hospital in my state. Working for a company like Sanderson Farms means that I get to be a small part of an organization that has such an amazing impact on so many lives.”