Born with ventricular inversion but still clinging on to life!

Recently wed couple Selma and Emrah Kaya, had lived through one of the greatest shock of their lives upon a diagnosis given for one of their twin babies during the 32nd week of pregnancy. The baby was born with ventricular inversion (aorta and pulmonary) and had to undergo an operation as soon as possible. Mother Kaya, without knowing what to do, said they were prepared to start their journey: “I have spent this entire period crying. We were going to go on a ride and take our flight to Istanbul when birth pains kicked in at the airport. I wound up going back to Trabzon to be rushed to hospital for birth. Both my babies were born prematurely. Arya Elis, had been born with inverted aorta as the doctor had already diagnosed. Two days after, Arya and her father had taken the air ambulance to Istanbul. I had stayed with my other daughter in Trabzon, but since she was also born prematurely, she had to stay in the newborn infants unit for a period of 14 days. When she was a month-old, we have travelled to Istanbul upon receiving doctor’s advice.

They have waited for her to reach 2 kilos and 400 grams

Meanwhile, for Arya Elis to hold on to life in Istanbul, a challenging process had begun. With the pediatric cardiologist operator as the first responder at Acıbadem Bakırköy hospital, the baby had tiny holes drilled through her belly with the “balloon atrial septostomy procedure” (tiny holes punched with catheter between aortas) in which the baby’s breathing was relieved and was agreed that she would be taken to the neonatal care services. Prof. Dr. Rıza Türköz, one of the Cardiovascular Surgery surgeons at the Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital, has said that they had to wait to undergo the operation since the baby was born with low-birth weight (1300 grams). “She could not have been operated at that weight and she had to gain a few kilos. This is the reason that she was treated under neonatal care for a period of 2-3 months to be well-fed for the infant to grow. When she gained enough kilos reaching 2 kilos and 400 grams, we have decided that she was healthy enough to undergo the procedure. “Prof. Dr. Türköz had stated that the procedure had gone well and that Arya Elis was intubated (was connected to the resuscitator) throughout this period since she was born prematurely and that she had recovered swiftly in a matter of 10 days subsequent to the procedure. Türköz also notes that Arya Elis may be the first infant to have under gone the “Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)” surgical operation at such a low-weight and still be alive.

The operation lasted for 6 hours

Mother Selma Kaya expressing her great sadness upon her baby’s diagnosis:” My little baby, since the operation was a serious procedure, my doctor in Trabzon was hopeless about the surgery. She was given a %30 survival rate.” “However, our doctor Mr. Türköz told us that we had to be patient and that our baby will get well.” she added. Mother Kaya proudly shares that her baby had encountered several health problems over a period of 2 months but that Arya had overcome them all. “Since she was born prematurely, her lungs were not adequately developed, and thus she was continually intubated. The baby had pulmonary edema and intestinal infection. When she successfully overcame these difficulties and had reached the required weight for the procedure per Doctor’s request, she had gone a 6 hour-long surgery. The operation was a success but she was connected to the inhaler since she was intubated. A week after the operation, the doctor had told us that Arya Elis had to be disconnected from the resuscitator and that a hole had to be drilled through her neck (tracheostomy) which we had accepted without any reservations. We had trusted our Doctor until the very end.

Longing for 3 months

Selma Kaya expresses that her bad days as Arya’s mother are in the past and that every time she saw Arya Elis, she started crying. “One of my girls was with me but my other daughter also needed me. I was feeling so helpless but always had hopes. For a period of three months after she was born, I was unable to hug her. During this painful period, my other daughter had supported me. I prayed often. I also received incredible support from around. Arya Elis, connected to the resuscitator for three months was released from the inhaler after a period of 10 days subsequent to the tracheotomy procedure. When I saw her in that condition, I had rejoiced. I’m a paramedic myself but when the subject at hand is your own child, nothing you know matters.

Reborn after 3 months

Living through the same predicament, father Emre Kaya shares that he also was not entirely happy during the birth of the baby. “It was also just as difficult for me since I was only able to see my daughters for a few seconds from afar. We already had to take Arya Elis and make our way to Istanbul in a few days in any case. I could not see one of my babies whereas the other one was so small I could not even touch her. We first had our faith in Allah and then in our Doctor. Good riddance, our daughter is in healthy condition now. We are really happy. We feel like our daughter has just been born.”

Diagnosis in the womb is possible!

Cardiovascular Surgeon Prof. Dr. Rıza Türköz had said the following: “The Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) is a condition that is come across in 2-3 infants in 10.000 births. Congenital heart disease appears in about 7% of the cases. If no action for treatment is taken for TGA patients, approximately 30% after 1 week of birth, 50% after a month, and 90% of the patients is lost after the first year. Though however, premature birth and low-weight births dramatically increase this type of risks.  Prenatal patient diagnosis rates in mother’s womb vary between 20% and 72%.  Early detection rates are increasing with the use of fetal echocardiography if there are reservations about the infant in the mother’s womb. The best possible treatment for newborn infants is full transposition of the greatest arteries/vessels as soon as possible. The desired rate of success from the operation diminishes depending on the period of delays.”