What is the scariest thing for a mother? Leaving the maternity ward without her child. While tears flow like a stream, nearby someone's joy and laughter are spreading, with balloons and flowers. Everything is in a fog and a lump slowly rises in your throat: your little one stayed there, alone in the intensive care unit. And there are no predictions. In your head, there is only a ringing emptiness, and someone's voice pulsates: "Just live, my girl, just live..."
Now her's life hangs by a thread: her heart doesn't have an artery, so blood doesn't supply her lungs. While other children run and play outside, she goes for a walk in her stroller, and at home, there are only calm games and no activities! One sudden movement - the child begins to suffocate, her lips and fingers turn blue quickly. With such a diagnosis, any second can be the last.
But she has a chance for a healthy heart, and this chance was given by cardio surgeon Vitaly Anatolyevich Pak from Italy. The girl can live a normal life: play, grow up, study, and get married. It's such happiness - to see your children grow up.
She is the third child, desired and planned for. The family received a coveted gift - "two stripes" - for the new 2021 year. Everything went smoothly, with the exception of the mother suffering from morning sickness, but what was that compared to the happiness of expecting a child? Soon, the long-awaited movements in the belly began.
Twenty weeks have passed, and during a scheduled ultrasound examination, the doctor said: "Your child has problems in the head, I don't see the cerebellum. I will refer you to a genetic center for further testing." The rest is a fog of tears, but at home, the mother read the diagnosis - a heart defect, Dandy-Walker syndrome. Something incomprehensible and scary. They had to go through one examination, then another, and then a third. The diagnosis changed to another - common arterial trunk. Again, there were tears, but the doctors reassured the mother that there were no indications for termination, and this defect would be surgically corrected in the first days of life.
Was this really happening? Every day, the expectant mother cried, and she lived in stress and anxiety for the entire second half of the pregnancy. At 37 weeks, she was put on bed rest, and ten days later, she was told to prepare for a cesarean section - all the indications were there, and the baby might not survive natural childbirth.
On August 26, 2021, she was born. "What a big girl," said the doctor, showing the baby in a "blue" color.
"I lay on the operating table, tears streaming down my cheeks, and I whispered softly, 'Just live, my girl, just live.' I watched as they measured and swaddled her. 3960, 55 cm," the nurse said. "Thank you, Lord! I was so worried that she would be underweight and that it would be an obstacle to our operation. They let me kiss her and took her away..."
The girl was breathing on her own in the intensive care unit, but she was connected to oxygen. The doctor announced a verdict: "Your child has a more serious defect; in the evening, she will be taken to DGB No. 1 for intensive care, and only an urgent heart transplant can save her."
In the evening, the mother, despite excruciating pain, ran down the corridor to her daughter. She wanted to hold her close and never let go. The tiny baby lay in a covered crib, wrapped entirely in wires. Tubes stuck out everywhere, and sensors beeped, disturbing the wild, terrible, and painful silence.
"Through the glass, I whispered how much I had been waiting for her, how much we loved her and wanted her to be strong, and that everything would be okay because we would manage. Then they allowed me to touch her handle.
It was the warmest and most tender feeling: in response, she moved her little tiny fingers, letting me know that she heard me, felt me, and loved me. I didn't want to let her go; my heart was breaking into pieces."
But then the resuscitator came up and said, "Say goodbye, we're taking her."
At the intensive care unit of the Children's Hospital No. 1, the diagnosis was confirmed - pulmonary artery atresia type 4 in the structure of Tetralogy of Fallot."
She was breathing on her own, but her blood oxygen saturation was terribly low. The only thing that was comforting was that she didn't need surgery yet and soon they would transfer the little girl to another department. A day later, her mother was discharged from the maternity hospital. Alone, without her daughter. Her husband was waiting for her in the hall and tears were visible in his eyes as well. They needed to pull themselves together and think about how to save their child's life.
Because of her illness, she didn't develop like other children and started walking at the age of one and a bit. Any activity was difficult for her - the girl quickly got tired. She loved to dance, but as soon as she started moving, she instantly became short of breath, coughed, and even vomited. On the playground, she could have fun for a minute - then her lips and nails turned blue, her breathing became labored, and her oxygen saturation dropped. she's only entertainment became stacking blocks, solving puzzles, and watching cartoons.
Then speech began to appear, and at one point, their beloved Yorkshire Terrier became Masya instead of Maxim, and the morning began with the words "Mi-mish" - this was how she communicated that she wanted her Mi-Mi-Mishki cartoons turned on.
For over a year, everyone lived in fear of losing her: there were several hospitalizations and examinations under anesthesia. During all this time, no one in St. Petersburg dared to perform the operation. After all, it was simply impossible to do it because of the too thin vessels in her heart. But at the age of one year and three months, after another CT scan, the verdict was announced that she was inoperable and if the child started to turn blue, they would not be able to save her. After those words, their world fell apart.
The parents searched for any way to help and found a cardio surgeon from Italy. He agreed to examine her and make a further decision about surgical intervention. Fundraising was started and the first operation was performed when she was 1 year and 5 months old, but such a serious defect cannot be corrected in one go, and now she needs a second auxiliary heart operation. The sum is enormous, and they have no money for it.
"She has a chance for life, for a healthy heart, and this chance was given to us by the Italian cardio surgeon Vitaly Anatolyevich Pak. We beg you to help us save our girl. After all, if the operation is not done in time, she will only live until she is 5-7 years old. Because with our defect, pulmonary hypertension develops rapidly.
I beg you for your help!"