kimberlyn after her 1st open heart surgery 8/15/2013. She has a condition called Single ventricle with double inlet double outlet right ventricle.
Single ventricle defects require a series of open heart procedures, over several years, called “staged reconstruction.” Surgeons reconfigure the heart and circulatory system.
A normal heart is a two-sided pump with four chambers. The right chambers receive deoxygenated blood or “blue” blood from veins and pump it to the lungs. The left chambers receive oxygenated blood or “red” blood from the lungs and pump it to the body.
After the operations for single ventricle defects, the heart functions like a one-sided pump with two chambers. The heart no longer receives deoxygenated blood from the veins. Instead, this blood flows directly to the lungs. The heart receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it to the body.
This is called Fontan circulation.
Here are brief descriptions of the surgeries required to create Fontan circulation:
- The first operation will occur within several days of birth. The purpose is to ensure that blood-flow is controlled enough to prevent damage to the heart and lungs, and that enough blood is reaching the lungs to keep the child alive until the second operation. There are different surgical procedures for this, depending on the type of heart defect.
- The second operation, called the hemi-Fontan or Glenn operation, usually occurs within six months of birth. During this surgery the superior vena cava — a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the upper body into the heart — is disconnected from the heart and attached to the pulmonary artery. After this operation, deoxygenated blood from the upper body goes to the lungs without passing through the heart.
- The third operation, called the Fontan, occurs at approximately 1 1/2 to 3 years of age. During this surgery the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body into the heart, is disconnected from the heart and attached to the pulmonary artery. After this operation, all of the deoxygenated blood from the body goes to the lungs without passing through the heart.
GOTCHA DAY – MAY3RD 2013
Kimberlyn at Heartbridge Healing Unit:
This will be our third adoption. She is a little one year old girl with a congenital heart condition called “Transposition of the Great Arteries”. We decided to adopt a third child and because of our experience with heart issues and felt comfortable dealing with another child with congenital heart disease.
She was in an orphanage in China and in a very bad state when we found her. She was brought to Heart Bridge healing home through our dear friend Amy Aldridge of Love Without Boundaries and is doing so well now. We expect to travel to China on a missions trip very soon and plan to get her then.
This picture was taken when she first arrived at Heartbridge Healing Home. You can see how sick she was. Her condition has improved dramatically over the past few months. She was not able to sit roll over or crawl at 10 months old.