Aleah Lombard - Heart Defect - Arms of Mercy NPC

Sparkle Miracle Bracelets for Aleah Lombard – Heart Defect

The Situation: Laetitia Lombard found out she was pregnant with identical girls in January 2017. The doctor said it`s a high-risk pregnancy because they share a placenta. She had problems with high blood pressure from 28 weeks, and had to quit her job. At 32 weeks the girls were both 1.6kg.

At 35 weeks the Dr. said that Milay stopped growing and that they want to do a C-section, 26 August 2017. That Saturday in theater, mom`s blood preasure was 220/160, and she had very bad Preeclampsia . Milay was 1.54kg and Aleah was 1.74kg. All looked well except for Aleah who needed oxygen.

Day 3 they did routine sonars in the NNICU at Pretoria East Hospital and saw that Aleah had a heart problem. One of the Heart Specialist explained everything, and that she must weigh at least 2.5kg before they can operate.

They started to give her Lasix for her heart, and inserted a broviac line to allow various drips to be administered to her. The coarctation of the Aorta forced them to re-instate her PDA with the use of prostan medication (hormones), but tue side-affects of proston is not good as it causes Sleep Apnee and fever. So she and Milay were in Pretoria East Hospital for 4 weeks. Milay was discharged and Aleah was taken to Sunninghill Hospital.

During week 2 in Sunninghill Hospital she got a stomach bug. After numerous echo and sonars they determined that both her main arteries are on the right ventricle, there is a large hole between her left and right ventricle, coarctation on the Aorta, and Stinosis on her pulmonary valve.

The first operation was to fix the Aorta, but during that operation an excess amount of blood rushed into the lungs and they got damaged. She was on a ECMO machine for a couple of days to recover the lungs – but after they removed the ECMO machine and started with the ventilator, they saw that she had a blood clot in one of her heart chambers. Treatment was started to dissolve the clot.

Her oxygen level didn’t improve, even with her lungs being stable, so they had to create a hole between the left and right atrium to insure the oxygen reach blood mixes with the oxygen depleted blood. The oxygen supply was gradually reduced and she was taken off the ventilator on to the Blue Sipap machine. When they tried to take off the Sipap machine her left lung collapsed. They started with physio and Nebulizing to help the lungs cope because of excess phlegm. She had infection and a virus in the lungs for which she received antibiotics.

The nerve that serves her diaphragm got damaged during the initial operation, and the diaphragm relaxed and encroach into the lung cavity. They operated on the diaphragm to pull it back into position. During this time they tried to give her oral feeds (because she was tube-feeding from birth), but this didn’t work well.

A Speech Therapist was called in to help, but still no luck. With the oral feeding she became extremely tired and gagged the whole time. They decided to insert a stomach peg pipe to give feeds straight to the stomach.

They saw that Aleah has Floppy Llung Syndrome. Her airways are soft and flexible and minor obstructions were present in her airways, causing her lungs to struggle. They operated on her airways to remove the obstructions with lazer. The nerve serving the vocal chord was also damaged during the first operation.

After almost 4 months in Sunninghill Hospital, Aleah came home on the 15th of December with oxygen and peg-tube in stomach. She struggled with lots of phlegm, a Physio came to the house as well as a speech therapist, but she was coping well at home.

On the 14th of May Aleah went for her second, 7 hour long, open-heart surgery at Sunninghill Hospital. They did reconstruction on her heart, inserted a patch and fixed all the major problems. She recovered very quickly and came home after 10 days without any oxygen machines.

They did a Echo heart test on her a few days after the operation and saw that the pressure in the one heart chamber was to high. She went for a heart catheter test again in August 2018, and they pulled a balloon through to open up the aorta where there was obstruction.

The pressure was still high and they saw that the patch they inserted with previous operation was not right. She had her 3rd operation on 20 November. Except for all the medical bills, Aleah`s mother had to get a nanny to help out with the twins. They also have a 4 year old son, Joshua.

Aleah still gets milk through the peg-tube in her stomach, and is still on special milk to prevent vomiting. She is really struggling to gain weight because of the long time in ICU, and because of the heart problem.

Follow Aleah Sparkle Miracle on Facebook for live updates on her progress.

Help us raise funds for Aleah Lombard

The Sparkle Miracle Bracelets for Aleah cost R30 each; consisting of red and mint green wooden beads with a sparkling Finch, diamante-heart or little bird charm. To place an ordercontact the agent in your area or shop online. Alternatively, please consider making a donation. Any and all donations welcome.

“Never let the challenges of life dim your sparkle, always believe in miracles and the magic of love.”

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