“At our 20 week scan, the sonographer said that she couldn’t see the right images of Jai’s heart and we were asked to have a further examination. Naturally we were confused and worried that there was a serious problem.
We were informed that there was a strong likelihood that our baby had a congenital heart condition and we returned the following day to meet the fetal heart specialist, who confirmed that our baby had a condition called ‘simple transposition of the great arteries’.
Essentially, without corrective surgery our baby had very little chance of survival. This was a huge shock for my husband and I, and it took a few days to comprehend the news.
Over the following weeks and months, we met regularly with the team at the maternity hospital and at the cardiac hospital for ultrasound scans and to plan the care that our baby would receive following birth.
We were able to visit the ward at the cardiac hospital and meet the consultants in advance enabling us to come to terms with what would happen in the weeks following the birth of our baby.
Our son was born in the maternity hospital with the full team on standby ready to provide him with the care he needed from the second he arrived. He underwent his first procedure just 3 hours after birth and was stabilised in the neonatal unit before being transferred to the cardiac hospital.
At just six days old, he underwent a 10 hour operation to correct the flow of blood to his heart. The following days and weeks were traumatic as we waited to see if the operation had been a success. The staff were extraordinary, they worked tirelessly and were incredibly supportive.
Our son is now 10 years old and an incredibly healthy, wonderful child who can be treated as a normal boy. My husband and I know that although the experience was traumatic, having the knowledge that there was a problem with our baby’s heart before birth, and being able to mentally prepare for what lay ahead, had a huge impact on our ability to cope with the situation and make the right decisions for us and our baby.
We are forever indebted to the teams at the maternity hospital for identifying the problem and at the cardiac hospital for their skills and expertise.”
Rajni & Ian (Jai’s parents)