Baby survives delicate operation

2015-06-21 15:28
(<a href=www.shutterstock.com>Shutterstock</a>)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A team of doctors in Johannesburg made history when they performed a delicate heart operation on a premature baby, thereby saving her life.

The operation, carried out on a heart the size of a baby's fist with instruments designed for adults, was the last resort after little ­Miané Burger was born with abnormal growths on her heart. She was barely two months old and weighed just 3.3kg when the operation was performed.

“It was a leap of faith. We just had to hope for a positive result," Dr Kenny Govendrageloo, a paediatric cardiologist at the Netcare Sunninghill hospital said.

This kind of laser operation has never before been performed successfully in South Africa on a baby weighing less than 10kg.

Miané's mom, Marlene Swart, 27, was 33 weeks pregnant when her doctor found that the baby's heart-rate was too fast. Her heartbeat was 224 beats per minute, compared to a natural heartbeat of 160 beats per minute.

She was immediately delivered during an emergency Ceasarean, to enable doctors to treat her with medicine to stabilise the rhythm of her heart.

A day after her birth, when the medication failed to have the desired effect, she was transferred from ­Trichardt in Mpumalanga to the Sunninghill hospital with its specialised children's cardiology unit.

“Miané gave the doctors grey hairs, because she simply did not respond to any treatment. Her dad [Schalk-Willem Burger, 33] and I have been warned repeatedly she might not make it."

“It is a miracle that Miané is alive and healthy," Swart said.

Swart and Burger are engaged, and live in Kriel in Mpumalanga.

All attempts to restore her heart-rate to normal failed, and the team of four specialists treating her had to make the difficult decision to operate.

“Initially we hoped to stabilise her long enough so that she could pick up at least 2kg before performing the operation, but her condition kept on deteriorating. We could not afford to wait any longer,” ­Govendrageloo said.

There are no doctors in South Africa that specialises in pediatric electrophysiology (uneven heartbeat in children), and the team called on the expertise of a specialist in America to advise them.

Then Miané's parents had to agree to the operation, which was their only hope, but could potentially claim their child's life.

The 2 ½-hour long operation on June 9 was the most difficult en delicate ever performed in South Africa, ­Govendrageloo said.

“It was extremely difficult to remove the growth in her heart by laser. [Everything in] the structure of her heart is much closer to each other than in the case of an adult's heart. This made it so difficult and dangerous to operate on her heart."

The other members of the medical team were dr. Andrew Thornton, a cardiologist specialising in heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), pediatrician Dr Christa Swanepoel and anaesthesist Dr Deane Murfin.

Govendrageloo said Miané's heart rhythm is now, for the first time in her short life, stable.

She has already started picking up weight and he is convinced she will make a full recovery.

“This was a team effort by a team of highly experienced doctors. We are overjoyed at the result," Govendrageloo said.

Swart said she could now finally pick up her baby and shower her with hugs.

“We are eternally grateful for what Dr. Govendrageloo and his team did for Miané. For us, it's a miracle," she said.

Read more on:    johannesburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

TUT extends recess

2016-09-28 18:00

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.