Doctors and surgeons face their fair share of challenges on occasion.1
But recently in Scotland, doctors had to save Nathan Byrne, a nine-month-old baby, who was born with a rare condition known as tetralogy of fallot, which makes the pulmonary artery narrow and difficult for the heart to pump blood.
Fun medical fact, most babies are born with a hole in their hearts, but Nathan’s case was more severe than that. Nathan had been on life-support for almost his whole life.
When he was three-and-a-half-months-old and every time he faced an issue, doctors would have to take him off life-support to operate on him, but this made his lungs and heart stop working.
After the surgery, his organs would need to recover, so an external machine helped circulate his blood. Few other painful side effects Nathan faced was an infection in his gut which almost imploded, for which he needed to be starved for 10 days. He also had blood clots in his brain which caused numerous seizures that lasted almost 5 to 45 minutes.
More recently, his parents Lesley Condie and David Byrne, were told that Nathan would need a detailed and complicated surgery, that may finally give him a clean bill of health. And they were told to wait in the hospital because of the chronic nature of his case, during the surgery.
The doctors stopped Nathan’s little heart for 15 hours straight to fix it. After a seven hour surgery, almost double the time due to complications, the doctors’ race against his organ’s strength, paid off.
Although, his chest needed to be left open for about a week because his heart was so swollen, Nathan may not have lived for more than six months, without this surgery.
Around 11 days after, exactly on Mother’s Day, Lesley could finally hold little Nathan in her arms again and he could finally be brought home to his family after three painstaking months.
After that long and stressful surgery and journey, Nathan is better than ever. His mother, Lesley, said that it’s hard to believe this smiling little boy is the same baby that went through so much and now they get to see him smile, really smile without a ventilator taped to his mouth.
We could all learn a lot about resilience from little Nathan!
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