The note taped to the front door of Cade and Tiffany Scott’s home in Hays reads: “Home of a heart warrior. Please do not enter if you are sick, have been sick or have been around someone sick.”

The “heart warrior” is the Scotts’ son, William, who at 7 months old has already had three heart procedures and is scheduled for open heart surgery Nov. 12 in California.

On Friday, a benefit bake sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Golden Plains Credit Union, 2720 Broadway Ave., to help with the baby’s medical expenses, the family’s travel and his parents’ time off work.

Cade teaches history at Hays Middle School and serves as the boys basketball coach and assistant track coach. Tiffany, a registered nurse, works with Southwind Surgical.

William and his twin sister, Layla, were born March 4 at Hays Medical Center. The Scotts have two older children, Graham, 5, and Lakin, 3.

The day after the twins’ birth, the family learned that William was born with a rare heart defect.

“Basically, the bottom of his heart is open, and he is missing his pulmonary artery and valve, which take blood from the heart to the lungs,” Tiffany said.

The lengthy medical term is tetralogy of fallot with absent pulmonary artesia and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. The defect occurs in one out of every 100,000 births, Tiffany said.

She said her pregnancy was normal, and the couple learned when she was 10 weeks pregnant that they were expecting twins. William’s twin sister does not have the defect.

Within a few hours of the infant’s diagnosis, William was airlifted to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Tiffany, who had just had a C-section the day before, was not cleared to fly, so her parents drove her and newborn Layla to Kansas City.

Cade flew with his newborn son to Kansas City.

“Because I have no medical background, I had no idea at first of how serious things actually were,” Cade said. That all changed when Cade watched his son code on the plane.

But the baby stabilized. A few days later, when William was a week old, doctors performed a heart catheterization and placed two stents in the infant’s heart to allow blood flow to his left lung. The couple was told their son would need additional open heart surgery.

William came home March 21, accompanied by an oxygen monitor and a scale. Tiffany and Cade every day measure how much William eats, how many diapers he goes through, and they measure his oxygen and heart rates twice a day. All of this data is sent to doctors weekly.

In July, the couple and William returned to Children’s Mercy, where William had a CT scan of his heart and an echocardiogram. Their pediatric cardiologist encouraged them to reach out to Stanford Children’s Hospital, which is considered one of the leading hospitals in the nation in treating this heart defect.

Tiffany, who had joined a support group on Facebook for parents of children with this rare defect, said all of the parents recommended Stanford as well.

The couple and William flew to Palo Alto, Calif., for their appointment on Sept. 5, and William had another heart catheterization, which revealed he was outgrowing his stents.

The surgeon who pioneered the corrective surgical procedure is booked until March 2020, Tiffany said, but his partner agreed that William couldn’t wait that long and agreed to do his surgery in November.

The couple will leave Hays on Nov. 7 to make the 25-hour drive to Palo Alto. William will undergo surgery on Nov. 12. Tiffany said the couple decided to drive this time because the baby’s oxygen levels fell so low during their September flight to California.

By driving, they can take their own oxygen machine, and it will lower the risk of infection from other passengers, Tiffany said.

During the 10-hour surgery, William will be on a heart bypass machine. Tiffany said there is a 5% chance of multiple organ failure during the surgery.

William will need further heart catheterizations as he grows. He will also need valve replacements as a toddler, a teenager, and as an adult.

Throughout the past seven months, Tiffany said her medical background “helped me understand what was going on, but it also made me aware of the possible problems.”

The Scotts will spend from two to four weeks in California with William as he recovers. The couple is on a waiting list to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto but won't know until they arrive if there will be a room for them. While they are gone, the couple’s other three children will stay with family in Hays.

If William comes down with the slightest cold between now and when the family arrives in California, his surgery will have to be rescheduled — thus the sign on the family’s front door.

The Scotts have received individual donations from family, friends, co-workers, and some of Cade’s former students, but this will be the first public fundraiser to help with the family’s expenses. Tiffany’s sister, Jody Schmidtberger, and a friend, Krista Dechant, organized the event.

"We are so grateful and thankful for the people who have supported us so far, not just people we know, but people we don’t know. And not just monetarily, but supporting us with their prayers. It means so much," Cade said.

Those who want to donate items to the bake sale are asked to bring items to the credit union by Thursday. Those who can’t attend the bake sale but wish to make a monetary donation may bring or mail it to the credit union, with checks made out to the "William Our Warrior" fund.