After 3 surgeries to repair a heart defect, Sidney is thriving

2012-02-07 13:10:43 by Andrea Joliet, Assistant Director, Interactive Marketing & PR, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Nine-year-old Sidney McLain is very creative. Her artwork can be found throughout the WestPark/Cleveland home she shares with her parents, Pat and Lisa, and her big brother Ryan.

An honor student, she loves to play the piano and sing in the choir, but she also plays tennis and is known as one of the heavy hitters on her softball team.

Sidney’s parents marvel at how well their daughter is doing, despite being born with a congenital heart defect that was diagnosed by Dr. C.R. Patel, director of maternal-fetal cardiology at Akron Children’s Hospital, when Lisa was 26-weeks pregnant.

The defect, known as double outlet right ventricle (DORV), makes it impossible for the heart to pump oxygen-rich blood from the lungs into the body because the aorta and pulmonary artery both originate from the right pumping chamber of the heart. In a normal heart, the aorta is on the left ventricle.

Before Sidney was born, Akron Children’s heart center team outlined a treatment plan that included three separate heart surgeries. The first was performed four days after she was born, followed by another at 14 months and the final procedure at 4 years.

The surgeries were performed by Dr. Phil Smith, clinical director of Akron Children’s heart center and division director of cardiovascular surgery, and Dr. Michael Spector, associate division director of cardiovascular surgery.

“Everything has gone according to plan,” said Lisa, noting there is only a slight possibility that any additional procedures will be needed.

One surprise is that Sidney is actually much taller than expected, since children with congenital heart defects tend to be small for their age.

“Sidney’s in the 95th percentile for height,” said Pat.

As far as ongoing care, she takes just one medication daily to prevent blood clots, has her blood drawn every two months to check medication levels and continues to see Dr. Patel every six months.

She also has to wear a heart guard when she plays softball and is more susceptible to extreme heat or cold.

All in all, these are just minor inconveniences for an active little girl who is living life to the fullest.

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