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When their son, Nolan, was born at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in 2021, Julia and Nate Fuller had no reason to suspect anything was amiss.

It didn’t take long, however, for doctors to discover Nolan had a coarctation of the aorta, a congenital heart defect in which the heart has to work harder to pump blood through a narrowed aorta. Nolan’s care team, led by pediatric heart surgeon Ashok Muralidaran, M.D., an associate professor of surgery and section chief of pediatric cardiac surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine, performed an end-to-end anastomosis to remove the narrowed portion and sew the thicker ends together. The experience created a lifelong bond between the Fullers and Doernbecher, and today, Nolan is a curious, active and rambunctious toddler.

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