Bravehearts of the Foundation: Baby of Seenath
April 6, 2018 | Contributed by R srivatsan
Seenath’s baby let out her first cry on 1st February 2018 at a local hospital called P K Das Hospital, Palakkad, a city in Kerala. Very soon after she was born, the doctors noticed that the baby was breathless, so it was critical to keep the baby in ICU until a more detailed evaluation could be done. Once this was done, the diagnosis was confirmed – Seenath’s little baby was suffering from a congenital heart defect known as Transposition of Great Arteries (TGA) with a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). The baby was referred to Amrita Hospital for further treatment. A fully equipped ambulance, along with a medical team set out towards Palakkad, to pick up the baby. On 2nd February, the baby was received at the IMCU, of Amrita Institute by Dr Krishna Kumar who conducted a detailed echo and confirmed the diagnosis. She needed corrective surgery – an Arterial Switch Operation and a VSD closure.
Transposition of Great Arteries, as the name implies is where the great vessels are transposed and arise from the wrong chamber of the heart. The aorta in this baby’s case was also arising from the right ventricle and carrying oxygen-poor blood to all the organs of the body, threatening the baby’s survival.
The pulmonary artery was also noted to be arising from the left ventricle and was wastefully recirculating oxygen-rich blood back to the lungs. The baby had a small defect between two ventricles, that allowed survival. However, this became smaller quite rapidly which put the baby in immediate danger of catastrophic reduction in oxygen saturation – this baby’s life was undoubtedly under threat, with a high risk of her life being lost. The only solution was to do the Switch Operation on an emergency basis.
The family’s finances were unstable – Mr Al Ameen, the little girl’s father is a daily wage worker who earns a monthly income of Rs 5000 (USD 77) The hospital reached out to us for financial assistance on an emergency basis – and with the support from our CSR partner JWT – we were able to provide this. The surgery involved correction of the transported great arteries and restoration of the normal physiology. This is extremely challenging when conducted on a small baby, because it involves transfer of the minute coronary arteries along with the aorta, it requires considerable finesse.
The surgery was successful, and the baby was taken to the ICU to recover over a period of 3-4 days where she would also be carefully monitored. We were relieved to hear that her recovery was smooth and has been discharged. Our prayers and hopes are with the family as we wish for the child to live a close to normal life alongside her family.