Bilqis – 16 months – The Gambia
Bilqis arrived weighing just 10 pounds at 16-months-old. Babies with congenital heart defects are typically smaller because their hearts work so much harder than
healthy hearts, and gaining weight is tough. At her pre-catheterization appointment, it was discovered that the Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) hole was much larger than expected – so big that the device used to close the hole was too big for her little body and wouldn’t fit via catheter, so surgery was needed. Surgeons accessed her heart between the ribs so they didn’t have to open her tiny chest. The hole was successfully closed, and after recuperating Bilqis almost immediately started eating more and more, and gaining weight. She returned home healthier and happier!