Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Broken hearts

A few posts ago, I wrote about a couple of our "heart kids," or children with congenital heart disease.  I would like to tell you about two more recent arrivals...

Baby of Sandra was born about six weeks ago.  The baby had difficulty breathing shortly after birth.  Pneumonia was the most likely diagnosis.  He was taken to the nursery where oxygen and antibiotics were started.  As time went on, the little guy just didn't improve.  A heart murmur became obvious and x-ray showed an enlarged heart.  This wasn't pneumonia--it was some sort of congenital heart disease.  I have very little experience with pediatric echos, but I decided to give it a try anyways.  My best guess is that the baby has a ventricular septal defect (VSD) or a "hole in his heart."  I started him on a couple of heart medicines.  He seems to be improving just a bit, but is still requiring oxygen.

Dr. Becky has been caring for baby of Kos on pediatrics ward.  Baby of Kos was brought to the hospital at about one week of life.  The baby was hypoxic and in respiratory distress, showing signs of heart failure.  Echo was not very helpful so we are really not sure what is going on.  As with baby of Sandra, the assumption is some sort of congenital heart disease.

We are wondering what in the world to do with these precious babies.  They missed the local cardiology screening by about a month.  We are awaiting approval by the specialist to send the babies to Lae for evaluation by the cardiologist.  Is it possible that they would be candidates for life saving surgery?  Even if we are given the OK to refer them, they are not stable enough to travel without oxygen.  The logistics of arranging transportation are overwhelming, and expensive.  If we are unable to send them for evaluation or if they don't qualify for surgery, what then?  How long can these babies live in the hospital?  They certainly won't live long at home.  Perhaps these are two kiddos that we won't be able to help.  

Hard questions.  I am not sure what the right answers are.  But I just can't give up yet.  Praying, praying, praying that the Lord will give us wisdom.  Will you pray for babies of Sandra and Kos, too?

"My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise."
~ Psalm 51:17

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