Kindergartener Bentley Campbell has had anything but an easy childhood. Now, Riviera Beach Elementary is using his story to spread awareness about heart issues.
Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), Bentley was left with an underdeveloped left ventricle, which carries oxygen through the blood. He went through three open-heart surgeries, at the ages of 2 days old, 9 months old, and 4 years old. Bentley also had two heart catheterizations.
“After his first surgery, he got what they call vocal cord paralysis,” explained Bentley’s mom, Ora Campbell. “Basically, from the breathing tube, it did some damage and paralyzed the left side of his throat. Due to that, he couldn't swallow anything and had to get a feeding tube put in his stomach, which he had until he was almost 3 years old.”
Calling Bentley her biggest hero, Ora was thrilled to learn that a gym teacher nominated Bentley to be recognized during Riviera Beach Elementary’s Jump Rope For Heart event on February 19.
“Him being nominated by his school for this is a special honor for him and my family,” Ora said, “especially since I was told to abort my child and that he wouldn't even make it to be a year old. This child is my miracle child and my biggest hero. He does not let this disability slow him down and take over him.”