It all began for Brittany, an expectant first-time mom, when a routine 20-week ultrasound revealed an abnormality. She was then referred to Nemours Children’s fetal cardiologist Dr. Shubhika Srivastava. Brittany had a fetal echocardiogram, a noninvasive way of inspecting a baby’s heart while still in the womb. Unfortunately, she learned that her baby had a very rare congenital heart defect called Ebstein Anomaly. The defect was linked to an abnormality in one of the valves of the heart, the tricuspid, causing it to leak. If left untreated, it would most likely result in heart failure. To correct the defect, surgery would be required.
Knowing that her baby would need highly specialized heart care immediately after birth, Brittany delivered Vea through the Advanced Delivery Program at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware. “What an amazing experience! I felt special,” says Brittany, “because everyone went above and beyond for me.”
Dr. Christian Pizarro, recognized as a surgical expert in this type of complex heart defect, successfully repaired Vea’s heart when she was just 5 months old.
Now, one year after surgery, Vea is thriving and mobile — crawling like crazy and stealing hearts with her wide-eyed glance. It’s possible Vea may need another surgery at some point and if she does, her mom says, “We would put our trust in Dr. Pizarro all over again.”Read More Patient Stories
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