Friday, June 19, 2009
26 Weeker Fitted With An External Pacemaker
Born after just 26 weeks and weighing an unbelievable 541g, Taylor's heart began to fail in the hours after her birth, forcing Melbourne's Monash Medical Centre surgeons to try the untried.
The cardiac team wired an external pacemaker to her tiny heart, allowing her to stay alive so she can be fitted with a more conventional pacemaker in coming months.
A 19 week ultrasound revealed Taylor had a complete heart block found in 1 in 200,000 babies.
At that time her mother Rebecca Gardner was put on bedrest so that her pregnancy could be monitored.
Nine hours after her birth on May 25, Taylor's heart rate was getting worse instead of better and she had to be rushed in for a pacemaker. As a result of her condition, her heart beat at between 40-50 beats a minute, rather than 150.
Although only a handful of premature babies in the world had ever been fitted with an external pacemaker - and none less than 750g - Dr Alex Veldman said surgeons had no other choice but to rewrite history.
Five days after the miracle operation, Taylor's bowel perforated and she needed another major operation.
Dr Veldman said that now she's made it through the first week of her life, her biggest dangers were behind her.
For even the smallest internal pacemaker, Taylor will have to grow between 1.5kg and 2kg in three months before she is big enough to get one and able to leave the neonatal intensive care unit.
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