‘The Challenge’ and ‘Teen Mom’ star Cory Wharton and longtime girlfriend Taylor Selfridge welcomed baby daughter Maya Grace Wharton on June 1. Maya is their second child together after Mila Mae, 2, and she is Cory’s third child. He also shares Ryder, 5, with his ex Cheyenne Floyd.
On June 10, Cory posted an announcement on Instagram about the birth of his daughter, but also revealed that his little girl had been diagnosed with tricuspid atresia, a form of congenital heart defect that requires open-heart surgery. “I don’t really know how to begin with this, there’s so much I want to say, so much I’ve felt over the past week,” he wrote. “As a parent, you are scared, worried, nervous, angry, sad, angry and don’t understand why this is happening to your baby.”
Cory further explained that tricuspid atresia occurs when the heart’s tricuspid valve fails to develop between two ventricles. According to the Mayo Clinic, “there is instead firm tissue between the chambers that restricts blood flow and causes the heart’s right lower chamber (ventricle) to be underdeveloped.” The clinic states that someone with tricuspid atresia “does not get enough oxygen through their body can get. People with this condition tire easily, are often short of breath and have bluish skin.”
The condition is treatable with multiple surgeries, the clinic’s website says. “Most babies with tricuspid atresia who have surgery live well into adulthood, although follow-up surgery is often required,” she adds. In his Instagram post, Cory shared that Maya had her first of three open heart surgeries on June 7 and she was successful. “She is in the process of recovery,” he wrote. “She is doing very well, we can’t wait to take her home and show her the love she needs.”
The longtime “Challenge” veteran said Maya will need a second open-heart surgery by the age of 4-6 months and another by the age of 3 or 4 years. “This is Maya’s journey and I’ve had a long discussion about how to share this news or whether I want to share this news,” he wrote. However, seeing many other positive stories online, he decided to find out more about her condition in hopes of helping other families going through something similar. He closed his post:
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Cory’s The Challenge co-stars went all out in the comments on the post to support the reality star. Kam Williams, who became a mother for the first time in May, wrote: “Happy birthday to you and your family! Sending so much love and prayers from our family to yours. Wes Bergmann wrote, “Congratulations on another successful addition to the family and we will all be thinking of you for your next two surgeries!”
Nehemiah Clark commented, “You have a whole village behind you and your family whenever you need us.” Kyle Christie wrote, “Happy birthday to you all, stay strong. Lots of love.” Season 37 Rookie Corey Lay wrote, “Sending so much love to you all. Sooo happy the first op went well. Maja is strong! All my prayers are with you all.” Melissa Reeves shared with: “Congratulations and lots of love.
Hunter Barfield commented, “I keep praying for you all brother! Stand strong.” Marie Roda wrote, “Sending all my love and prayers to you and the family. She is beautiful.” Michaela Bradshaw wrote: “Congratulations Cory. I pray for a spirit of healing, good health and peace to flow through your home! It’s over you now.”
Taylor also shared the news in a similar Instagram post, writing that Maya was born on June 1 at 10:39 p.m. and weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces. “My little love you are so beautiful,” she wrote. “Mom loves you so much. You are so incredibly strong and such a brave little girl. Mom and Dad are so proud of you and how far you’ve come in just a week.”
The Teen Mom star wrote that they found out Maya was diagnosed with tricuspid atresia when she was 22 weeks pregnant. “We found out she would need three open-heart surgeries, one of them in the first week of her life,” she said. “Our lives were turned upside down in seconds.” Taylor explained that Maya gave birth much better than they had hoped, “and with great cardiologists, we were able to put in a stent instead of the first open-heart surgery.”
She said the first surgery came when Maya was just 6 days old. “The last picture was her surgery day, we were so happy to hear that she was done and out of surgery, but when we came in to see our baby it was very overwhelming,” she said, explaining that she got through felt “very helpless” about the process.” She added, “I first really held her when I was 5 days old. The last 9 days have been a complete rollercoaster ride for us and the most challenging week I’ve had as a mom so far.”
She concluded: “I feel so blessed to be able to bring my baby home this weekend. God is good We still have a long way to go but I will always be by your side no matter how hard it gets. Now let’s go home girl.”
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