Baby with rare heart defect survives thanks to surgery done in the womb
He was supposed to be born with a potentially fatal heart condition, but he is now a healthy and happy baby thanks to a rare surgery done while he was still in the womb
About 22 weeks into her pregnancy, doctors at children’s hospital in Los Angeles, US, discovered that the baby Samantha had the hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition wherein the left side of the heart is underdeveloped.
“You can imagine without half of your heart, it’s hard to survive, right?” Grayson’s dad, Marco Davila, told CBS News.
Samantha shared how it felt like everything was stacked up against them. Because, aside from little Grayson’s underdeveloped heart, they also discovered that the hole through which blood would flow from the left to the right side of his fetal heart was starting to inexplicably close up.
So Samantha and Marco decided to do whatever it took just to get their unborn child delivered safely, even if it meant having to undergo a rare and risky procedure.
Fetal cardiac intervention involved inserting a long thin needle to Samantha’s uterus, which would then pierce through Grayson’s heart and create a stent. This process would allow blood to flow normally from the left to the right side of the heart.
The surgery was a success! This allowed his lungs to be stable enough so surgeons could perform much needed open heart surgery after he was born.
The right part of the heart is responsible for pumping blood to the lungs but after the surgery, surgeons were able to convert it to “do the job of both sides,” which is to pump blood throughout the entire body.
Due to his delicate condition, his parents only got to hold him a week after he was born. But Samantha says, “it was worth the wait.”
Now 3-months0old, Grayson is doing well and his new heart is functioning perfectly well.
Though he has two more major procedures ahead of them, his parents are overjoyed that his doctors expect him to grow up a healthy and happy kid.
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