“Initially I didn’t think there was anything seriously wrong with my baby though she had difficulty breathing and she hardly slept. Infact all she did was cry. Every feed was a traumatic experience for both of us as minutes after a feed, milk would gush out of her mouth & nose. I just didn’t know what I was doing wrong. It broke my heart to watch her being fed at the hospital in Seychelles, through a tube that connected her nose to her tiny stomach.I was prepared to do anything to take away her misery. Thank God, the Seychelles Government recommended MIOT International in Chennai, India” , recalls Rivana’s mother.

“Rivana was brought to us in a critical state. Special paediatric scans* told us that she suffered from a rare birth defect in her heart -Truncus Arteriosus which affects less than 1 out of 10,000 new born babies across the world”, explained the Director, MIOT Centre for Children’s Cardiac Care.

Truncus Arteriosus

When the human heart takes shape normally in the mother’s womb, a tree like structure originates from the two lower chambers of our heart, also known as ventricles. As it moves up, it branches into the 2 major blood vessels, the aorta which carries oxygen rich blood through our body & the pulmonary artery which removes deoxygenated blood to our lungs from where it is exhaled.

Defective at the start

Rivana’s heart had got the wrong instructions from the very beginning and the ‘branching out’ did not happen. Instead a single blood vessel (Truncus Arteriosus) came out carrying a mix of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood! To make matters worse, the wall that normally separates the two ventricles was not present. It resulted in a situation similar to having a single water pipe come into your house bringing impure drinking water!

“This left Rivana oxygen depleted and breathless all the time. She was getting more critical by the minute. We explained to Rivana’s mother that an emergency surgery was our only option. She took it quite bravely”, recalls her Surgeon.

Intricate nano surgery

In a complex procedure that lasted over 5 hours, MIOT’s team of experienced surgeons added missing pieces, created new pathways and reconstructed Rivana’s heart to match almost ideal specifications. During surgery, her tiny heart was stopped for 2 hours and circulation supported with a heart- lung machine. They started by creating a wall to separate the two ventricles before connecting the trunk to the left ventricle. A graft was then placed to connect the right ventricle to the trunk. Surgeons also repaired the tiny leaking truncal valve, thus re-setting Rivana’s entire circulatory system, once and for all.

Over the next 20 days Rivana was given oxygen support & monitored 24 x7 by MIOT’s expert ICU team. She impoved quickly once she was reunited with her mother.

Today, a month later Rivana is back in Seychelles, enjoying the sun and the sea. She feeds and sleeps                                        normally and has gained 4 kgs.

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