Our little miracle Macy was born August 5th, 2020 with a congenital heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA).
This defect was initially discovered at my 20 week anatomy ultrasound and we were quickly referred to the Pediatric Cardiology team & a high risk OBGYN at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation . This being my 4th pregnancy, I knew immediately something wasn’t right following that test; and receiving the diagnosis over the phone due to COVID protocols was extremely disheartening and very overwhelming.
TGA is a severe CHD that requires lifesaving, open heart surgery within 7-10 days of birth. The issue with the TGA defect is that the two main arteries leaving the heart come off the wrong pumping chamber. The heart has formed such that once the baby is born, the blood that returns to the heart from the body does not receive oxygen from the pulmonary system, thus resulting in little to no oxygen feeding the tissues of the body. An arterial switch surgery is done to move the main vessels & arteries of the heart into the correct position.
Macy went straight to NICU after birth and was put on a medication to help encourage the blood to keep mixing & get oxygen to her body. She was also placed on a CPAP machine to help facilitate her breathing & help with perfusion.
She was sent via air ambulance to the Mazankowski Heart Institute in Edmonton when she was 4 days old to prepare for her operation. She had her open heart arterial switch surgery at one week of age and was transferred to the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.
She was on a lot of meds post op – pain & sedation meds, antibiotics, blood pressure support and meds to treat & prevent excessive blood loss. She remained intubated for four days after her surgery until she was strong enough to breath on her own.
We were so blessed to have many skilled hands caring for our little girl; too many to name but all very important in her care & eventual recovery. She was sent back to Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation 12 days after her operation and had a complication in her recovery with an elevated heart rate so she needed more medication & another week long stay in NICU in Saskatoon.
All told she spent just about one month in hospital; and continues to receive post surgical care from the cardiology team. Macy will need follow up care for the rest of her life & may require additional surgery depending on how her heart develops & grows.
Macy is a happy (almost) 14 month old who has completed our family & we are so grateful for her! She truly is our Little Wonder.