Kiahna is now 6 years old, and since birth she has spent a lot of time in Birmingham Children's Hospital due to Ventricular Septal Defect also known as (VSD).
Here is some research on (VSD)
VSD is a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart.
In normal development, the wall between the chambers closes before the fetus is born, so that by birth, oxygen-rich blood is kept from mixing with the oxygen-poor blood. When the hole does not close, it may cause higher pressure in the heart or reduced oxygen to the body.
How does it affect the heart?
Normally, the left side of the heart only pumps blood to the body, and the heart's right side only pumps blood to the lungs. In a child with VSD, blood can travel across the hole from the left pumping chamber (left ventricle) to the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) and out into the lung arteries. If the VSD is large, the extra blood being pumped into the lung arteries makes the heart and lungs work harder and the lungs can become congested.
How does the VSD affect my child?
If the opening is small, it won't cause symptoms because the heart and lungs don't have to work harder. The only abnormal finding is a loud murmur (noise heard with a stethoscope).
If the opening is large, the child may breathe faster and harder than normal. Infants may have trouble feeding and growing at a normal rate. Symptoms may not occur until several weeks after birth. High pressure may occur in the blood vessels in the lungs because more blood than normal is being pumped there. Over time this may cause permanent damage to the lung blood vessels.
What can be done about the VSD?
If the opening is small, it won't make the heart and lungs work harder. Surgery and other treatments may not be needed. Small VSDs often close on their own. There isn't any medicine or other treatment that will make the VSD get smaller or close any faster than it might do naturally.
If the opening is large, open-heart surgery may be needed to close it and prevent serious problems. Babies with VSD may develop severe symptoms and early repair, within the first few months, is often necessary. The repair may be delayed in other babies. Medicines may be used temporarily to help with symptoms, but they don't cure the VSD or prevent permanent damage to the lung arteries.
Closing a large VSD by open-heart surgery usually is done in infancy or childhood even in patients with few symptoms, to prevent complications later. Usually a patch of fabric or pericardium (the normal lining around the outside of the heart) is sewn over the VSD to close it completely. Later this patch is covered by the normal heart lining tissue and becomes a permanent part of the heart. Some defects can be sewn closed without a patch. It may be possible to close some VSDs in the cath lab.
If an infant is very ill, or has more than one VSD or a VSD in an unusual location, a temporary operation to relieve symptoms and high pressure in the lungs may be needed. This procedure (pulmonary artery banding) narrows the pulmonary artery to reduce the blood flow to the lungs. When the child is older, an operation is done to remove the band and fix the VSD with open-heart surgery.
Kiahna has spent a lot of time in Birmingham Children's Hospital. During this time, Kiahna has undergone corrective heart surgery five times, the first three of which were when she was only six months old. Kiahna had her fifth and final operation in February 2016. Thanks to the fantastic team at BCH she is now able to live a normal healthy life.
Andrew has come up with a beautiful song to depict an extremely emotional time in our lives and one that a lot of parents can sympathise with
Picture yourself as a parent waiting at the hospital for your child to come back from a lifesaving operation This is UK singer/songwriter Andrew Ayres take on that journey, putting himself in the shoes of that parent bringing together a wonderfully emotional and yet hope inspiring song. All proceeds from the song will be donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital helping sick children on their way to recovery.