Amit Soni, 30, is relieved to see his three-month-old son gaining weight slowly but consistently and his breathing pattern settling down
Soni’s son, Aditya, who had a rare congenital heart and lung defect — scimitar syndrome, weighted only two kg before being treated at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, in January.
Scimitar syndrome is characterised by an unusual arrangement of pulmonary veins, where the blood vessels takes the shape of a sword. Scimitar syndrome occurs in approximately one among a lakh live births.
“Aditya was suffering from persistent breathing difficulty since birth. Doctors said it was pneumonia and that there were slim chances of his survival,” said Soni, a Kalyan resident.
At Fortis Hospital several investigations were performed before Aditya’s defect was diagnosed. “The baby was suffering from shortness of breath, poor feeding, increased heart rate and low grade fever,” said Dr Sanah Merchant-Soomar, paediatric cardiologist, Fortis Hospital. “Scimitar syndrome needs to be treated soon, otherwise the child can develop complications such as pneumonia and lung infection. It could also lead to death,” said Dr Kaushal Pandey, cardiac surgeon, Hinduja Hospital.
Aditya showed three severe complications. The right-side pulmonary veins, which carry oxygenated blood from the lung to the heart, were not attached to the left side of the heart. “This was causing the heart to work harder and could lead to heart enlargement,” said Merchant-Soomar.
Due to the blockage of the aorta, the main blood vessel, the blood flow to the lower part of the body was less, which could lead to failure of kidneys and liver. His right lung had a large abnormal tissue growth, which put pressure on the lung. This lead to shortness of breath, said doctors. A large blood vessel was supplying blood to the tissue growth thus making the heart overwork. Doctors ruled out open-heart surgery as it was risky for the baby weighing only two kg. They performed a less invasive trans-catheter intervention to correct the defect.
Aditya was discharged from hospital in mid January and is recovering well. “I had lost hope of seeing my baby alive. We are poor and I am trying to repay the loan that I had taken for his treatment,” said Soni, who works as a sales officer in Ulhasnagar.
“Aditya will need surgery to correct the last defect and reinsert the pulmonary veins to the left side of the hear,” said Dr Merchant-Soomar.