Baby born with heart as small as dove egg undergoes operation

Baby born with heart as small as dove egg undergoes operation
PHOTO: AFP

Doctors in Wuhan Children's Hospital successfully operated on a dove-egg size heart of a premature baby, Chutian Metro Daily reported.

The baby boy underwent the most dangerous period and is now in a stable condition, according to the hospital.

The boy was born in October in Xiangyang, Hubei province, weighing only 1.72 kilograms. He had difficulty in breathing. After spending 33 days at a local hospital, he was transferred to Wuhan Children's Hospital in the capital of Hubei.

"His little arms are as thin as adult fingers and I feel really sad when I see the little body with so many pipes," the mother Zhu Shijun said.

Wuhan Children's Hospital diagnosed the baby with complex congenital heart disease, along with other six problems in artery, breathing and weight.

Pi Ming'an, director of cardiothoracic surgery at the hospital, said that heart operation was the only way to save the baby.

On Friday, Pi performed the surgery. "Performing such a surgery is just like embroidering on the pinpoint and every procedure needs much care and consideration," said Pi.

The baby's heartbeat was paused for 63 minutes during the operation. Circumstances such as ambient temperature and humidity were also carefully controlled, or any mistake could lead to terrible results, he said.

After going through the most dangerous period, the baby also has to fight his way through many difficulties such as breathing, infection and feeding. But as the baby's condition is getting better, chances of survival are promising, Pi added.

Zhu, the mother, said: "I am pumping breast milk with sucking pump everyday as I wish to feed my baby one day, though he cannot reach it now." The couple still can't see their son now as the baby is in ICU where accompanying relatives are not permitted.

Despite that, the family also had funding problems.

The whole family relies on Hu to make a living. He earns about 4,000 yuan (S$814)  a month. The medical bill of more than 100,000 yuan has consumed all their savings.

The hospital helped them apply for charitable aid, yet money for further treatment is still not available.

"The child is our flesh and blood, we will save him no matter how hard it is," the couple said.

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