Doctors Stop Infant’s Heart For 15 Hours To Perform Life-Saving Surgery

Doctors Stop Infant’s Heart For 15 Hours To Perform Life-Saving Surgery

London: A nine-month-old baby in the UK, born with a large hole in his heart and faced certain death has survived a marathon surgery when doctors stopped his tiny heart for 15 hours for a life-saving procedure.


Nathan Byrne is now the smiling picture of health, British media reported today.

Without complex surgery, which saw his thumb-nail sized heart stopped for 15 hours, he would not have lived beyond six months, Scottish newspaper ‘Daily Record’ reported.

Surgeons told parents, Lesley Condie and David Byrne, Nathan would be in surgery for seven hours, but complications saw the procedure take more than double that time.

A remarkable fight for life followed countless complications but the youngster, who spent time on a life support machine, has amazed medics and his family.

Mum Lesley, 28, said: “To look at him, you would never know what he’s been through. He has so much energy and never stops smiling. It is amazing he still does that, considering all that he has been through.”

Nathan had a rare condition called tetralogy of fallot – which also causes a narrowing of the the pulmonary artery. Every time doctors tried to take the tot, then three-and-a- half-months-old, off the machine that kept him alive during surgery his heart and lungs stopped working.

To give his organs a chance to recover Nathan was attached to a machine that circulated his blood outside of his body.

The baby also had to be starved for 10 days after an infection left his bowel on the verge of busting. Nathan also had to contend with blood clots on his brain, which caused countless seizures lasting between four and 45- minutes.

When Nathan went into surgery he was so ill that his parents were told not to leave.

It was 11 days later, on Mother’s Day that Lesley was finally able to hold her baby again.

His chest had been left open for seven days as his heart was so swollen.

It was three months before the tot was eventually allowed to return home with his family.

Lesley, from Lanarkshire, Scotland, said: “For six or seven weeks, we couldn’t see an end to it. Then one morning we came in and he just looked different. He still had the ventilator taped to his mouth but he tried to smile and I knew he was going to come off it.”

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