INDIA: Zimbabwean infant with rare heart defect gets new lease of life


HYDERABAD: Heart surgeons at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Secunderabad, conducted a complex heart surgery on a 11-month-old baby from Zimbabwe, who was suffering from congenital heart ailment.

The infant was admitted to the hospital with a history of breathing difficulty and inability to feed properly. A battery of tests revealed that the infant had a congenital heart defect known as pulmonary atresia with MAPCAS (major aortopulmonary collaterals).

Pulmonary atresia is a medical condition wherein the pulmonary artery from the right ventricle of the heart is absent, because of which blood cannot flow to the lungs. The infant’s lungs were receiving blood supply from other sources.

To restore normal circulation, doctors performed a complex surgery called ‘Unifocalization’ to create a single source of blood flow to the lungs.

“The routing of the blood to the lungs was completely changed so that the blood goes from the heart to the lungs. It is a full-day procedure and technically demanding,” said Dr. Anil Kumar Dharmapuram, paediatric cardiac surgeon who performed this surgery.

Due to the complex nature of the surgery, the infant took two weeks to recover and is out of ICU and feeding normally now.

“I never imagined that my baby would recover, given his rare medical condition. Today, he is not only fine, but is also leading a normal life.

“I am grateful to doctors and other healthcare workers for giving my little one a new life,” the infant’s mother Norah Situmbeko said.