Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)

When a woman becomes pregnant, the first or even the fifth time, it is always a magical experience.
However at 28 weeks pregnant Dawn Flitcroft was told her unborn baby had a serious heart defect.
Despite this devastating news and two bleeds, Dawn went on to enjoy a normal pregnancy and birth.
On the day that her beautiful daughter Kendal was born, the medical team diagnosed Kendal with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome otherwise known as HLHS.
This is a serious defect that affects the flow of blood through the heart.
It is just one type of a congenital heart defect.
Despite the fact that Dawn was told her daughter may not survive, Kendal fought to stay alive.

Dawn kindly agreed to an interview with me.


An Interview With Dawn Flitcroft:

What is your name and age?
Dawn Flitcroft
Age 36.

What is your child's name and age?
Kendal Flitcroft
Age 16 months (on the 3rd)

Did you have a normal pregnancy or were there any complications?
I had two bleeds.
One at 16 weeks and another at 21 weeks.
But pregnancy went fine.

Did you have a normal labour or were there any complications?
I had normal labour and it all went fine.

When was Kendal diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome?
I was told of the diagnosis when she was born.
I found out when I was 28 weeks that she had a serious heart condition and that she wouldn't survive birth. 

What symptoms did she / does she have?
She has rapid breathing and she turns blue a lot.

Is there a cure?
No her heart condition can never be fixed.

When did Kendal undergo her first surgery and what was the process?
She had her 1st open heart surgery at just  10 days old, her 2nd at 7 months old and she will need her 3rd one at age 4 years.
Then eventually a heart transplant.
The 1st one was to put a shunt in.
The 2nd one was to bring the main arteries from her neck down to her heart. The 3rd one is for the main arteries from her legs.

How long was she hospitalised for?
She was in hospital for 9 and a half months and that was from birth.
The doctors had no hope for her.

What advice would you give other parents/guardians in this situation?
My advice would be to always have hope and cherish every second as you don't know when God is going to call them home.


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