Martha's Heart Condition

On Monday 26th August 2013 a 4 day old Martha Grace was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital ready for "Techincally Demanding" corrective Heart Surgery to save her life.

She was born with an Interrupted Aortic Arch (type B) and a Large Ventricular Septal Defect.


The interruption to her Aortic Arch meant that blood supply to the lower half of her body would be cut off once the Arterial Duct closed (usually within the first 4 days of life) which would have resulted in death if it was left untreated.


Thankfully, after a gruelling 6 hour operation the arch was repaired. Unfortunately, as Martha had spent far too long in Hyperthermic Arrest while they repaired the Arch that they were unable to close to VSD as planned. Instead, Pulmonary Bands were tied around her Pulmonary Artery reducing the blood flow to her lungs. These will stay in place for a few months giving Martha a chance to gain weight and grow. Martha underwent a 6 hour operation on Thursday 14th November with the aim of closing the VSD.  However the operation was far more complicated than anyone had anticipated, she become unstable at the end of the operation and required a Pacemaker on the 25th November. Tests in early December showed a residual VSD with significant blood shunting through the holes and narrowing to her Aorta, she went in to Theatre for the 4th time on the 12th December 2013. Finally after a 10 week hospital stay where she spent her 1st Christmas in Hospital, Martha came home on the 22nd January 2014.


We were advised during the pregnancy that Martha might also have DiGeorge syndrome. However, test results confirmed there were no chromosomal abnormalities.