Benefit for Reserve 3-year-old Allie Duhe Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

By Monique Roth

RESERVE – In her short life, 3-year-old Allie Duhe of Reserve has undergone three surgeries, and within the next couple of months she will travel back to Boston for an additional open-heart surgery in efforts to keep her heart functioning normally.

Twins Allie and Aiden Duhe, daughter and son of Glenn and Emily Duhe of Reserve, were born on Oct. 27, 2010. Considered full-term at 37 weeks because they were twins, Allie and Aiden both experienced a normal hospital stay with no time in intensive care.

Allie was born weighing less than five pounds, but because she was a twin doctors weren’t initially alarmed about her low weight. Emily said from the beginning that Allie would breathe very fast, as some infants do, and that Allie was constantly brought to the pediatrician to monitor her weight. Because she was a fussy baby and a poor eater, Allie was later diagnosed with acid reflux and colic.

During a pediatrician’s visit when Allie was 10 weeks old, the doctor was alarmed at grunting noises Allie was making. Glenn and Emily rushed Allie to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, where through a chest X-ray technicians saw that Allie had an enlarged heart.

Further testing revealed Allie’s diagnosis as Shones Complex.

Doctors tried their hardest to treat Allie with medication, but she only got worse. Surgery was presented to the Duhes as the only option for Allie to survive, and even with that the surgery was very risky.

Allie’s first surgery took place on Jan. 18, 2011, at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. She retuned home for a long recovery after what was initially viewed as a successful operation, but unfortunately Allie would soon require additional surgery.

Allie had her first open-heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital on March 31, 2011. Because of Allie’s deteriorating condition, her cardiologist, along with the Duhes, felt as though it would be best to transfer Allie’s case to Boston. Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked as the top hospital in the country for pediatric heart surgery.

Complications from March’s surgery led to a second open-heart surgery on June 29, 2011, in Boston. During this third surgery, Allie’s surgeons attempted to save her mitral valve from needing to be replaced. Once surgery began, the valve was deemed beyond repairable, and Allie underwent a valve replacement.

Because of her small size, doctors did not want Allie to receive a mechanical valve, which requires frequent replacement surgeries as the child grows. Instead, a melody valve, a tissue-based valve with stents, was placed in the mitral position.

Allie was the second child in the world with this valve placed in the position that it is in. The melody valve can normally be dilated without open-heart surgery, thus lessening the number of surgeries that Allie may face in the future.

Unfortunately, Allie’s valve has shifted, and doctors are unsure why this has happened. This will mean that Allie will require another open-heart surgery to fix the shift and possibly replace the melody valve.

Emily said Allie’s next surgery will happen in March, and although it’s hard to travel so far for the surgeries, every dollar spent and inconvenience associated with traveling is worth Allie being healthy.

To help defray costs associated with the surgeries and travel for the family, Debra Loupe and her daughters Jennifer Brady and Jessica Loupe have organized Rallie for Allie, a fundraising event that will take place this Saturday, Feb. 8, at Debbie’s Mainstreet Tavern,

216 E. Main St., Gramercy. Participants must be 18 years or older to attend.

The event will start at noon and activities will include a dart tournament, washer board tournament, ping-pong tournament, women-less pageant, several raffles, a bake sale and many more activities.

Brady said the event has received a lot of support from local businesses and she and her family were touched by Allie’s story and heroic spirit.

“We are so thankful for all the love and support we have received from everyone since Allie was first diagnosed,” said Emily. “Thank you to everyone involved in the benefit.”

A lunch sale of shrimp fettuccini, salad and bread for $7 will begin at noon and a dinner sale of pastalaya for $5 will begin at 5 p.m.

Pre-order of meals is available, and delivery is an option for orders of 10 or more.

Other than the event on Saturday, donations to the family can be made to any Capital One Bank branch under the name Rallie for Allie/Allie Duhe.

For more information or questions about the event or preorders, please contact Brady at or call her at 504-441-8038 or 985-536-1015.