Some of you know about my sister’s friend, who found out during a routine ultrasound midway through her pregnancy that her (second) baby has a rare birth defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). The left side of the baby’s heart did not form. Her due date is approaching and they have decided to induce her tomorrow.
(I was surprised to learn they were not going to schedule a C/S, to be honest. The reason for picking a date is so that they’re sure to have the whole massive medical team assembled and ready to go. I am guessing that they will not give her long to progress and give birth, since they will not want their massive medical team standing around and waiting for long.)
The following quote is from an email from the friend to my sister.
He will have the first in a series of three open-heart surgeries within his first week of life (snip). The doctors will determine when and if he’s strong enough to endure the first surgery…it could be as soon as 3 days. They will attempt to “reroute” some of the oxygenated blood from the right side of the heart to the rest of the body. The left side of the heart is the side that does 90% of the pumping in a typical heart so they will try to make the right side do some of this work. It’s not a fix but it will allow him some blood flow to his body. If that goes well, he will do another surgery around 6 months and then again at 3 years of age.
The series of surgeries is risky and not guaranteed to work. Another friend in their circle is a PA in some form of NICU care, and has suggested that it really comes down to the baby’s personality. If he’s a fighter, he stands a good chance. If he’s not…well, the chances aren’t so good.
So the next few days will be long ones for their family, regardless of what happens. If you have a spare moment, keep them in your thoughts.