When you learn that you are going to become a parent you worry and pray that your child is born healthy. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a Baltic mom who found out when she was 4 months pregnant that was not going to happen unless drastic measures were taken.
When Brandi Grib from Baltic was pregnant with Zoie, her fourth child, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. From the beginning it was a difficult pregnancy. When she went in for her 20 week ultrasound her Obstetrician Dr. Jodi Scott and her Perinatologist Dr. Maria Palmquist saw a problem.
Brandi says, "That's when they noticed all four chambers of her heart were not what they were supposed to be."
Brandi was then referred to Avera Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Sami Awadalla (everyone refers to him as Dr. Sami). Zoie had a very rare condition called critical aortic stenosis. Her aortic valve was thickening to the point that it obstructed blood flow causing the left side of her heart to stop growing. Dr. Sami says most babies with this degree of heart failure don't usually make it.
Dr. Sami says, "The only way to change the outcome is to do something with the aortic valve while she is still in the womb."
27 weeks pregnant, Dr. Sami sent Brandi and her husband to Boston for an in-utero lifesaving procedure for baby Zoie.
Dr. Sami says, "Balloon angioplasty is highly specialized, a high risk procedure and probably the only center in the country that has tremendous experience with this procedure is General Hospital Boston, Mass.
Brandi says, "They went through my stomach, through my uterus, inserted a small needle into her heart to try and dilate it open."
It worked. Brandi stayed in Boston and gave birth to Zoie on December 23, 2010. She was 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 20 inches long. A day later those doctors tried to perform balloon dilation on her aortic valve when it ruptured. A week later she had open heart surgery to replace the valve.
Brandi says, "It was very scary. It was very hard to deal with."
Looking at 4 month old Zoie you'd never know she's gone through 3 surgeries, one before she was even born. Dr. Sami says she will probably need to have at least one more surgery before she's adult, but other than that she's doing great.
Brandi says, "She's our miracle baby. She is definitely our miracle baby. She's done great. It's hard to believe she's been through so much.
Dr. Sami said had it not been for the critical eye and care of Brandi's OB/GYN and Perinatologist who first caught the problem, we would probably never have gotten to meet this beautiful baby and see her smiling face. And what a tragedy that would have been.