Baby Zoe’s Story

Baby Zoe Grace Naidu was born on 11 May 2017. She seemed a completely happy healthy baby until a glucose test result reflected low glucose levels.

She was admitted to ICU and when she was four days old she was tragically diagnosed with a very rare congenital heart defect called, hypo plastic left heart syndrome. The result of this is that the left side of her heart did not develop.

As a result, her right ventricle and only chamber of her heart has a leaking valve, two holes, and the contractility of the valve is below normal. Her aorta was 1.4mm wide which ordinarily would be 8 mm in a baby her size.

At the time of the diagnosis the family was given three options and a decision needed to be made overnight. The options consisted of compassionate care i.e. allowing Zoe to pass away naturally and comfortably. The second option was a three stage palliative operation process and lastly a heart transplant. A decision was reached  to give her a chance and they went ahead with the operation despite her having a 25% survival rate.

At 8 days old, Zoe had her first open heart surgery and recovered ahead of schedule, enabling her to go home for precious time with her family. Zoe is three months old and is now in acute cardiac failure. Her family is seeking for a heart transplant however, face challenges due to the lack of a donor pool. Doctors are in full support of doing the transplant, but the real challenge is obtaining a suitable donor.

Unfortunately Zoe’s aorta has narrowed, placing her at risk of suffering a heart attack. She had an emergency procedure called a cardiac cath and ballooning of her aorta in August but reacted adversely to anesthetics and dyes. It was decided that the procedure would need to be repeated on 28 September 2017. The procedure will also give an indication of whether Zoe will be eligible for her stage two heart surgery when she is between 4 and 9 months old.

“We remain hopeful and believe that we will find a match that will literally change little Zoe’s destiny,” commented Zoe’s mother, Ramona Naidu.

Zoe’s family is appealing to anyone with leads for potential heart donors to contact them.

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