UAE: Filipino Teen With Life-Threatening Heart Defect Saved After Rare, Multistage Procedure


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 4:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Feb 2024, 11:14 PM

A Filipino teenager suffering from a congenital heart defect got a second chance at life after a successful, rare multistage cardiac procedure performed by a multidisciplinary team of doctors.

Zagil Gondraneos, 16 years old and hailing from the Philippines, was born with a single ventricle. In this rare congenital cardiac abnormality, one of the heart's pumping chambers is grossly underdeveloped, rendering it incapable of functioning correctly. This complex and life-threatening defect typically requires staged surgical procedures.

The complex procedure was conducted at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) – a PureHealth subsidiary.

Dr Magdi Abdel Ghafour Tofeig

“Zagil arrived at the cardiology clinic looking blue and exhausted because of low blood oxygen levels,” said Dr Magdi Abdel Ghafour Tofeig, consultant of paediatric cardiology and therapeutic catheterisation.

“We managed to diagnose his condition by conducting an ultrasound of the heart and performing a diagnostic catheterisation. His situation was very complex because he has only one ventricle instead of two,” Dr Magdi noted.

Complex procedures

The team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons carried out the procedure in which a catheter was inserted in the cardiac cath lab, which partially rerouted blood flow, allowing more blood to reach and have oxygen uptake in the lung.

It resulted in a remarkable improvement in the patient's condition and paved the way for the second surgery, the Fontan Procedure. This surgery rerouted blood from the inferior vena cava directly to the pulmonary arteries, enabling the functional ventricle to pump oxygenated blood to the body. As a result, the patient's heart started functioning better, supplying the body with oxygenated blood.

During procedure

Saeed Al Kuwaiti, CEO of Seha, pointed out that having world-class surgical expertise and advanced medical facilities helped create a staged surgical plan for complex procedures.

“This success is not just a testament to our surgical excellence across Seha's network but also the strategic foresight of PureHealth. Reflecting PureHealth's commitment to the 'Science of Longevity' our ability to leverage world-class expertise and facilities exemplifies our mission to deliver superior healthcare outcomes,” Al Kuwaiti said.

Zagil with family after recovery

The family is pleased with the excellent treatment, which led to Zagil enjoying a normal life in the Philippines. Zagil's father is a UAE resident and works in Abu Dhabi.

“I am very thankful to the doctors and nurses at the SKMC,” Zagil said.

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