Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Esme’s Story

Jade’s instinct told her that something wasn’t right with baby Esme’s health. After many trips to the GP, Esme was finally diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). This is their story:

I took Esme to the GP and to the hospital many, many times as a newborn. She would have episodes of fast breathing, her heart would sometimes pound and her hands and feet would be white and freezing, as if they contained no blood! She was such a hard baby to feed because she just didn’t want it – she didn’t gain weight for what seemed like ages.

Obviously, if the symptoms aren’t still present by the time you get to the GP then they are less inclined to believe you. They repeatedly just diagnosed Esme with a cold.

I took her to the out of hours clinic one Sunday afternoon. The doctor sent us straight up to the hospital as she had heard a significant heart murmur.

We were there for the rest of the day, but then had to wait another six weeks for an echo.

Esme has a moderate patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) with left heart swelling. Thankfully, as she has got a bit older, her symptoms are practically non-existent and we are currently awaiting surgery for a catheter occlusion.

Although our world came crashing down when we found out something was wrong with her heart, we are so incredibly blessed that, all being well Esme, will lead a ‘normal’ life after her surgery!

I am always advocating the fact that parents know their child the best and if something doesn’t feel right you sometimes have to fight for your baby!

Our Think HEART campaign is a really easy way for parents to know the key signs that a baby may have an undiagnosed heart condition. Find out how to Think HEART here.