Mason with Coarctation of the Aorta and FOUR Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs)

Mason’s mum writes about the first year of Mason’s Life
Country: UK

I gave birth to Mason (my 2nd son) on 11th January 2011. The full pregnancy and birth were textbook. However, we were kept in because he wasn’t feeding and it wasn’t until the night after he was born that the nightshift nurse noticed his breathing was too fast; so she went and got a paediatrician in and that’s when everything went downhill.

Mason was taken down to special care unit, it was there where I was told that something was wrong with his heart but they couldn’t say any more at that stage. After sitting for what seemed like hours was in fact only an hour I was told to go back to the ward and get some sleep. Before I left I remember asking them if Mason was going to die that night :(

Thursday morning I went down to the special care unit and found that he’d been moved to the intensive care unit. At 2pm, Mason was transferred to Yorkhill Hospital. When he arrived he was placed in ward 2b and this is where we found out about his condition – he was born with coarctation of the aorta, FOUR large Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs), a split sternum, joint cervical vertebrae, an omovertebral in his shoulder AND only one kidney. We then got moved to ward 5a. When Mason was a week old, Mr danton performed surgery. After waiting 11 long hours I went to the intensive care unit and was informed that although there was bleeding at the end, the op went as well as it could. They had repaired the coarctation of the aorta and they could only close one hole. Mason spent two weeks in intensive care and the high dependency unit. We were then moved back up onto ward 5a but Mason still wasn’t feeding properly so they taught me how to feed him through the NG tube. At the start of February, Mason got a hernia so it was back for another op to remove it.

We finally got him home when he was 6 weeks old, the best day ever!

Since then we’ve had numerous appointments with all his consultants and two of the holes have closed themselves and the remaining one is getting smaller, so all is good heart-wise :)

Mason’s mum informed CHD-UK that his heart was checked closely in pregnancy. Scan because his dad’s family have heart problems yet they still never picked it up!

Wrote by Maureen McCurdie
December 2011

Maureen McCurdie has kindly given CHD-UK permission to use her photographs.