Mom becomes nurse after son diagnosed with congenital heart defects

Woman was inspired by the nurses and doctors she met while at her boy’s bedside for weeks

Nearly 1 in every 110 babies are born with a congenital heart defect.

Indiana mother Calley Burnett had a tough road after finding out her second son was diagnosed with multiple CHDs — an event that would eventually change the course of her career from working in a family business to becoming a nurse.

“Spencer was born with congenital heart defects, and that led my way into the nursing program after just being bedside for several weeks with Spencer at Riley (Hospital for Children in Indianapolis),” Burnett told “Good Morning America.”

According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart defects result when the heart, or blood vessels near the heart, don’t develop normally before birth.

Spencer was treated for ventricular septal defect and patent ductus arteriosus, among other defects. According to GMA, he had a hole in the wall separating the two ventricles in his heart.

Burnett was inspired to go back to nursing school in 2019 after receiving a “positive experience” with the doctors and nurses who took care of her son.

“We had just phenomenal nurses there that I still talk to today. Their bedside manner and how they made me feel and the trust that I had and the bond that we had, it just opened my eyes to say, ‘You know what, I think that this is something that I would love to do,’” she said.

Burnett is now a NICU nurse at the same hospital where Spencer was treated. Today, he’s a “spunky” 7-year-old who plays soccer and, according to his mom, is “very athletic. He’s always on the go.”

When it comes to nursing, Burnett has a few words of advice.

“If that is your passion, I would 100% follow it. It’s worth it,” she said. ”The journey is worth it. It’s tough. But what you get back from it is a hundred times better.”