Two-Year-Old Matvey Has A Heart Defect. Open Heart Surgery Can Save His Life. Please Help.
Two-year-old Matvey lives with his parents, Svetlana and Stepan, and his older brother Artem in a house inherited from Stepan’s parents. The family owns a car, and they often visit a nearby lake. Both sets of Matvey’s grandparents also live in Kolpashevo.
In 2010, when we interviewed Svetlana for the first time, she was still resentful at not having been told about Matvey’s heart defect before he was born. This year, despite her anxiety about Matvey’s upcoming third open heart surgery, she is upbeat and optimistic about the procedure.
Matvey underwent his first open heart surgery in Tomsk in 2009, when he was one month old. Heart to Heart pediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Gary Raff and Tomsk’s lead pediatric cardiac surgeon, Dr. Evgeny Krivoshchekov, operated side-by-side to insert a small shunt to improve blood flow to Matvey’s lungs.
In 2010, the joint Heart to Heart-Tomsk team, led by Dr. Jim Tweddell, performed Matvey’s second open heart surgery, replacing his original shunt with a larger one. This measured surgical approach “buys time” for Matvey so he can grow. The expectation was that Matvey would be ready for his third open heart surgery in the next few years.
Matvey’s mother feels that, since last year, Matvey’s development has been completely normal: he walks well and talks a lot; he is shy with other children, but very outgoing with adults.
The Tomsk cardiology team performed an echo study and a diagnostic catheterization on Matvey. The results confirmed severe pulmonary valve stenosis, and a narrowing of Matvey’s left and right pulmonary arteries. The joint team concurred that Matvey should be scheduled for open heart surgery during Heart to Heart’s current mission.
Dr. Bert Litwin led the joint team in placing a conduit (Contegra 14 mm) between Matvey’s left ventricle and his pulmonary artery. The team also closed his ASD and VSD. The conduit will need to be replaced in several years as Matvey grows.
During the case conference devoted to Matvey, Heart to Heart pediatric cardiologist Dr. Frank Cetta, who has been present for all three of Matvey’s open heart surgeries, comments that this case has been a valuable teaching opportunity for the Tomsk team. They have benefited from the expertise of three different Heart to Heart surgeons who performed staged heart surgeries to treat Matvey’s very complex defect
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 May 25, 2011.