A four-month-old miracle baby from Solapur, Mumbai survived more than 20 heart attacks over two months before undergoing a life-saving cardiac surgery in a city hospital. Aditi Gilbile is on the way to recovery and will lead a normal life after eight to nine months, her doctors said.
The infant was diagnosed with the rare congenital malfunction, Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from Pulmonary Artery (ALCAPA), that affects one in three lakh children. The defect arises from wrong wiring of the heart’s main ventricle that supplies oxygen to the body. The heart receives very little blood and suffers multiple attacks. ALCAPA accounts for just 0.25% to 0.5% of cases among all congenital heart problems.
Aditi started showing signs of the ailment in January when she was two months old. Her mother, Preeti, said she would be irritable. Her breathing and feeding patterns started to change. “She would sweat profusely and refused to breastfeed. We rushed her to a doctor the day she bawled incessantly for three hours,” said the mother, adding that her weight gain was also affected.
A doctor in Barshi taluka, Gilbile’s place of residence, identified the involvement of the heart. He referred them to Pune, where ALCAPA was diagnosed. The couple approached the HN Reliance Hospital in Charni Road, where the child was operated on February 21.
“In normal babies, pressure in the lungs normalize within a week of birth. In Aditi’s case, the pure blood was flowing away from the heart. It resulted in frequent and silent heart attacks that damaged heart muscles,” said Dr Shivaprakash, head of the paediatric heart centre. “It is a delicate surgery as we are dealing with tubes of 1-2mm in size, and the baby’s heart function down to 10-15%,” he added.
Chief of paediatric intensive care, Dr Amish Vora, said, “The child’s heart was weak after surgery and needed all medicines and dialysis for three days. She has now been taken off artificial support.” Medical director Dr Gustad Daver said the child will lead a healthy and normal life. She is likely to be discharged in two to three days.