Baby s rare condition treated
Baby's rare condition treated

An Albert Park baby is recovering in the Royal Children's Hospital after remarkable surgery saved his life.

Baby Emile Haddad was just a few days old when he was diagnosed with heart failure.

His mum Lisa told 7News: "He was breathless, and limp - a very unwell little boy."

Scans at the Royal Melbourne Hospital revealed a large mass in a vein within Emile's brain, an extremely rare condition called Vein of Galen Malformation.

Neonatologist Dr Neil Patel explained: "A consequence of that is the heart has to work very hard to pump extra blood through that, and the rest of the body is deprived of its normal blood flow."

Emile's condition is so rare only a handful of specialists in the world are trained to treat it, luckily for Emile and his family one of those specialists was in Melbourne.

Neuroradiologist Professor Peter Mitchell performed an embolisation at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where a catheter was fed through Emile's thigh, up to his heart and into his brain.

A metre of fine coil mesh was packed into the vein to slow down the blood flow.

Professor Mitchell said: "It's enormously stressful but enormously rewarding to see the good results you have."

Emile is expected to undergo another embolisation at six months, and surgery for a hole in the heart, but his parents couldn't be happier with his progress.

To donate to the Royal Children's Hospital visit the Good Friday Appeal website

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