Baby Tayla recovering in ICU after open heart surgery

2010-07-27 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S biggest little fighter, four-month-old Tayla Grace Geddes, is stable and recovering in the intensive care unit after undergoing six hours of open heart surgery in Johannesburg yesterday.

The surgeons were forced to manage a near-crisis at the end of the procedure when Tayla’s blood pressure dropped significantly after her chest had been stitched closed. Doctors reopened her chest to relieve the stress, and at 8.45 pm she was wheeled into ICU where she will remain open-chested for the next few days.

Only when the swelling subsides will doctors take Tayla back into the operating room to stitch her chest closed.

Doctors confirmed that she “looked good” for a baby who has just had intensive surgery. The tiny girl captured hearts when she was born at Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic in March with three holes in her heart and a missing septum.

Doctors confirmed she would need the surgery as a matter of urgency, but said she would have to reach 3,5 kg before she went under the knife.

Last week she eventually reached the required weight, was jetted to specialist surgeons at Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg and wheeled into theatre at 2.30 pm yesterday as her parents, Heather Geddes and Peter Hamberger, waited anxiously for news from the surgeons.

Yesterday’s surgery saw doctors undertake a complete restructuring of the baby’s cardiovascular system in one session instead of the split-surgery they had originally anticipated.

Heather Geddes said she felt good under the circumstances, and was surrounded by family and friends. “It has been a stressful and emotional time, but having support has been really good,” said Hamberger.

A trust fund has been set up for Tayla’s future care. Hamberger can be contacted at 072 192 9860.

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