One-Year-Old Matvey Has A Heart Defect. Open Heart Surgery Can Save His Life. Please Help.
For an update on Matvey, please click here.
Matvey’s parents, Svetlana and Stepan, live with their two sons in a house inherited from Stepan’s parents. They own a car and are often able to visit a nearby lake. Both sets of Matvey’s grandparents also live in Kolpashevo.
During the interview, Svetlana expressed great fear of being abandoned and anxiety at the prospect of having to care for and raise Matvey by herself. “I’ve heard of many cases, when there is a sick child like Matvey – the husband loses interest and leaves the mother to cope with the illness alone.”
Matvey’s heart defect went undetected in utero. He was visibly blue at birth, but local doctors assured Svetlana and Stepan that, despite his heart defect, their baby was basically healthy and would be “normal.” Twenty days later, he was rushed to the Tomsk Cardiology Institute, 170 miles away, and admitted to the intensive care unit. Three days later, pediatric cardiac surgeon Evgeniy Krivoschekov performed open-heart surgery on Matvey to insert a small shunt that will improve bloodflow to the lungs.
After surgery, Matvey spent 17 days in the PCICU, and Svetlana was at the hospital every day to breastfeed him. Dr. K. explained that Matvey would need further surgery when he was bigger, and urged Svetlana and Stepan to keep Matvey healthy and avoid infections.
Matvey is a beautiful and responsive one year old. He is able to walk, though he is still quite cyanotic (blue). Svetlana believes his body is not getting enough oxygen. He speaks a few words. Although he eats fairly well, Matvey is still small for his age, so Svetlana wakes him up twice every night to give him a bottle. Matvey is frequently short of breath, but Svetlana describes him as a very easy, active, and charming child.
Dr. Jim Tweddell led the joint Heart to Heart-Tomsk team in replacing Matvey’s original shunt with a larger one. This measured surgical approach “buys time” for Matvey so he can grow. His parents were able to take him home on May 5.
The Heart to Heart team will re-examine Matvey next year when we return to Siberia. By the time he reaches three or four years of age, he will be ready for his heart to be completely repaired.
Based on an interview conducted in Tomsk, in Russian, by Heart to Heart volunteer Rose Glickman, PhD.
For more about the Heart to Heart medical missions to Tomsk that Russian Gift of Life, USA helps to sponsor, please click here.
Matvey was successfully operated at the Tomsk Cardiac Center in Siberia on April 22, 2010.