By Stephanie Stahl


CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — It was a special kind of reunion at Virtua Health and Wellness Center in Cherry Hill on Thursday for a mom-to-be who needed a first-of-its-kind heart surgery while pregnant. The surgery was a success and on Thursday, she introduced the baby who’s just over a month old now.

Gifts to the new parents from the Virtua team that made it all possible.

“They really care and want the best. They did the best for me and Denver,” said Elen Tritten, who goes by Elen now.

Tritten, who’s from Brazil, had her baby named Denver on Oct. 1. It was a delivery that almost didn’t happen because Tritten had a heart valved that was failing.

“The doctors say you have something in your heart,” she said Thursday.

CBS3 first spoke with Tritten after the historic operation in April when she was 16 weeks pregnant.

Her mitral valve that had been replaced once wasn’t working. To replace it again, instead of doing the procedure through the groin where there was scar tissue, surgeons had to go through her ribs.

“It certainly increased the risk, making a hole directly into the apex of her heart certainly increased risk,” Dr. Arthur Martella said.

The surgery was the only way to save mom and the baby, who were both in jeopardy.

“I’m feeling great, it’s been amazing,” Tritten said.

The newest echocardiogram shows the new heart valve is doing well. Time for the Virtua team to celebrate with the family at a reunion party.

For dad, who’s in the military, seeing his baby for the first time was overwhelming.

“It was one of those moments you won’t forget,” Taylor Tritten said. “It’s really amazing, didn’t think I was going to cry, but I actually did.”

They already had the name picked out.

“I’ve always wanted to have a son named Denver and my wife, she was super cool about picking names anyway,” he said.

Denver, who weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, was delivered with a planned C-section to reduce strain on Tritten’s heart. She’ll probably need another valve eventually, and they hope to be back at Virtua for that.

Stephanie Stahl