6-year-old Bolingbrook boy undergoes several heart surgeries to repair congenital heart defect

Doctors knew even before Carter was born that he had a deformed heart that would need immediate care.

Now, his family is talking about his story of survival.

"Typically when you first have your child, once you give birth, they're put into your arms, and you're having these tears of joy, but in our situation, you know, Carter is then swept away," said Carter's mother, Shuntae Williams. 

Carter Williams is a happy, energetic six-year-old who enjoys playing with his family at their home in Bolingbrook.

But just six days after he was born, Carter underwent the first of several surgeries to repair a congenital heart defect that was preventing his heart from pumping blood to his lungs.


A team of specialists at Lurie Children's Hospital implanted a conduit in his heart to redirect the flow of blood as well as a pacemaker.

At three years of age, Carter nearly died from an infection, and all the medical equipment in his tiny body had to be replaced.

He will continue to have surgeries as he grows, but doctors say he should be able to live a normal, active and happy life.

"And if you see him today, he's six years old, he's cute as ever, he has this infectious smile, and he just keeps going. And he always reminds us about the excellence we're always looking for," said Lurie Children's cardiac surgeon Dr. Osama Eltayeb.

"That's one of the things that we appreciate the most and we just hug him and kiss him every day, it's great," said Carter's father, Patrick Williams.

One of the problems that Carter faces is that the equipment that was placed in his heart will need to grow with him, and he will need several more surgeries. But, he is back at school now and doing well.

Doctors say he has a good prognosis.