A Scottish father recounted the devastating moment he asked doctors at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow if his newborn baby would survive after birth with two rare diseases.
Husband and wife Del and Alana Campbell have been told that their new son Cruz will need urgent open heart surgery twice due to his birth with tetralogy of Fallot, a rare abnormality affecting the heart.
Children who are born with the disease have a defective valve, which means that the blood flow between the heart and the lungs is drastically reduced.
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Baby Cruz was also born with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), which refers to a hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart.
The baby was only 10 weeks old when his parents were told he would need emergency surgery to correct both conditions because reported by the Daily Record.
Del said: “It has been the most difficult time of all of our lives. No parent should ever have to ask a doctor ‘what are the chances that my baby will survive?’
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The couple were told their baby had heart disease after a CT scan when Alana was 20 weeks pregnant, so doctors at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital were ready to take the child to intensive care when she returned. gave birth on July 15.
But Del, a father of three, says the brave little one surprised everyone when he was born – apparently perfectly healthy.
He said: “Alana had a normal delivery and he was perfectly fine. There was literally a medical team standing at the door waiting to grab him and take him to intensive care, but in the end he didn’t. didn’t need it. “
Doctors scanned the newborn and discovered, as they feared, that he had both tetralogy of Fallot and VSD, but appeared to be doing well.
After three days spent in the maternity ward with mom, Cruz, was allowed to go home and had to go to the hospital regularly for medical examinations so that the doctors monitor his progress.
However, on September 23, while on a trip to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow for one of his routine checkups, doctors discovered that his blood and oxygen levels had dropped dangerously and he had was taken to emergency surgery at 9 a.m.
Parents Del and Alana did their best to entertain themselves and their two oldest children during the grueling 12-hour surgery as they eagerly awaited news.
And just before 9 p.m. that night, the family were finally told that the toddler had survived the operation and the valve had been fully repaired – but there was still a 1mm hole in his heart. .
Del explained, “This call was such a relief, but then they said they managed to partially mend the hole, but failed to close it completely, so there were emotions. mixed. “
Cruz spent four days in intensive care on a ventilator before being transferred to the cardiology department where, over the next two weeks, he slowly began to recover.
However, the family suffered another blow when, on October 3, medics scanned Cruz’s heart and discovered that the 1mm hole was now 4mm.
Six hours later, the surgeon called Del to tell the frantic father that his baby had been saved.
Del said: “Usually it’s the nursing team that calls, but this time it was Cruz’s surgeon who called to tell us he was happy to say that they had completely fixed the hole. It was such a relief. “
The tot was finally released from the hospital on October 28 and returned home to Bathgate with his family where he still takes him one day at a time.
Del added: “He just stopped taking food by tube and switched to a bottle which is nice to see. Doctors say he should hopefully need no more surgery until he is finished. ‘he is an adult, but he will receive regular scans to keep an eye on things.
“We are so happy to have him at home.
“They told us at the time that three percent of children who have had open heart surgery for it do not come out alive and although that is a good chance some children must unfortunately be in those three percent, so as a parent who is very real and very scary and was very present in our minds.
“For us the hospital staff were amazing and managed to save our son and we are very grateful.”