Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): Sebastian’s Story

John’s son, Sebastian, was born with an undiagnosed VSD (hole in the heart). Here, he shares their story:

VSD Sebastian‘My wife and I have a son, Sebastian, now 3 years old, who was born with an undiagnosed large VSD.

After not putting on weight and struggling to feed due to tiredness and other associated issues for his first 3 months, he then developed bronchiolitis, collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital.

Here, they finally heard the loud heart murmur that tells of a CHD issue. A week later he was diagnosed with the large VSD and also an ASD and we were put under the excellent care of the staff at Evelina, London.

Sebastian had his first open heart surgery to patch the VSD at approx. 5 months old.VSD Sebastian

Due to the fact his heart has a kink in it where the VSD patch is, his blood has to turn a corner when being pumped out. This increases the pressure and caused scar tissue to build up over the next 9 months that began to block the artery.

He had his second open heart surgery to cut back the scar tissue at 22 months old.

Due to the way his heart is wired this was more complicated than otherwise. (All our hearts are wired one of two ways; around the outside or through the middle.) His is wired through the middle by the scar tissue. The ‘wiring’ part of the heart is white in colour. The scar tissue was white in colour!

VSD SebastianThanks to the skill of the Evelina surgeons the perfect amount of scar tissue was cut back without cutting into the ‘wiring’. Otherwise he would have required a pacemaker.

Sebastian is being monitored every 6 months and so far is showing no further signs of any post surgery complications, other than he gets tired more quickly than his peers.

But in general he’s now a happy, cheeky little 3 year old who’s just started nursery.’


Find out more about VSD here.

Our Think HEART campaign is a really easy way for parents and health professionals who aren’t cardiac specialists to know the key signs that a baby may have an undiagnosed heart condition. Learn how to Think HEART here.