17 August 2016

Two-year-old with hole in heart

In 2014, Lydia Nambozo gave birth to a bouncing baby that she would later name Praise Apio.

However, there was something about Apio, 2, that seemed a little abnormal. She would cry non-stop and could barely rest even at night.

The cries persisted, forcing Nambozo to seek medical advice from Peter Lwabi, a senior pediatrician at Mulago hospital.

At Mulago hospital, Nambozo received the worst news that could take her through a tortuous two-year journey trying to save her daughter’s life.

It was traumatising because Nambozo had during delivery lost one of the babies that arrived before Apio.
Apio’s twin sister, Nambozo says could have died because of stress that she experienced before and after delivery.

“I suffered from a serious bout of malaria during my pregnancy. It was hard for me because even in sickness I had to work to survive,’’ she says with a shaking voice.
This, she suspects put her under intense stress that later impacted her pregnancy.
Nambozo, according to medical reports, went into early labour which resulted in producing Apio as a premature, a condition Lwabi says is when a baby is produced before its due date.

This, Lwabi says, could have been a result of Nambozo’s sickness because malaria and pregnancy don’t mix.
For close to a month, Apio survived in an incubator and it is around the same time that she was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, a condition that creates an aerated hole within someone’s heart.

Delicate situation
Namboozo’s situation, according to Stephen Lwanga, a professional counsellor, is quite delicate and could lead to devastating effects such mental illness.
The father of her children has abandoned the family and has not provided any assistance even when it was most needed.

However, she is not comfortable discussing why he husband turned his back on her at this hour of need.
Namboozo is financially challenged and cannot raise the Shs19m that doctors have said will be needed to treat Apio.

She needs an operation before her situation worsens and any delay might present more dangers.
Apio will need to go through an operation to correct the abnormality.

About Atrial Septal Defect

It is a condition that creates “hole” in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart.
This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart.
What causes it?

Every child is born with an opening between the upper heart chambers. It’s a normal fetal opening that allows blood to detour away from the lungs before birth. After birth, the opening is no longer needed and usually closes or becomes very small within several weeks or months.

Sometimes the opening is larger than normal and doesn’t close after birth. In most children the cause isn’t known. Some children can have other heart defects along Atrial Septal Defect.

How does Atrial Septal Defect affect my child?
Children with Atrial Septal Defect often have no symptoms. If the opening is small, it won’t cause symptoms because the heart and lungs don’t have to work harder. If the opening is large, the only abnormal finding may be a murmur (noise heard with a stethoscope) and other abnormal heart sounds. The highest risk among such children is to the blood vessels in the lungs because more blood than normal is being pumped there.

  1 comment:

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