20 October 2010
From the letter of Sonya’s mom:
My pregnancy was going fine, I was surrounded by my loved ones who cared for me. On the 12th week the ultrasound showed a very serious disorder in my little girl’s heart. Prenatal diagnosis was the L-type transposition of the great arteries, which is one of the most complicated heart disorders...
On the second day after her birth Sonya was in the resuscitation room and on the fifth day she had her first surgery. The surgeons of the Saint-Petersburg City Children’s Hospital were able to remove coarctation of aorta (this disorder was impossible to see on the ultrasound before Sonya was born), but Sonya’s condition remained very unstable, she was swelling. The doctors decided to risk it and perform another surgery. They put a cuff on her pulmonary artery to increase the pressure. Several days later she had another complication, and yet another surgery was performed. However, the little heart still had problems. Council of doctors had made a decision that further surgeries wouldn’t help and Sonya’s organism needed to find a way to fix blood flow by itself.
... Finally we saw some improvement. Doctors removed the respiratory tube to let Sonya try to breath on her own. And she did well! I can’t tell you how happy I was when my daughter first cried out loud, because we have never heard her voice until then. She finally started getting better. Within a week lymph drainage had stopped, the doctors all said it was a miracle!
Now Sonya is 7 months old and she is faced with another challenge — a double-switch surgery (arterial switch and Senning switch operations). Unfortunately, the number of similar successful surgeries in Russia is very low. Sonya’s only hope is Berlin Cardiology Center. The cost is more than 40,780 euros (56,800 dollars). Sonya’s parents are engineers, both grandmothers are retired, so they cannot collect this much money.
Comments from the department head of the Berlin Cardiology Center, Ovrutskii S. B.: