David is a 6-month-old boy who resides in Nigeria. He has had difficulty in breathing since birth. He ended up getting admitted in hospital and was found to have a rare birth defect in the heart called truncus arteriosus. Currently he has a very difficult life with persistent difficulty in breathing and repeated chest infections. He is constantly in and out of the hospital, he is not feeding well, not growing, and his condition is rapidly deteriorating.
Normally, the right side of the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary artery to the lungs and the left side of the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood through the aorta to the rest of the body. In babies with truncus arteriosus the blood vessel coming out of the heart in the developing baby fails to separate completely during development, leaving a connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery. Thus oxygen-poor blood and oxygen-rich blood are mixed together as blood flows to the lungs and the rest of the body. As a result, too much blood goes to the lungs and the heart works harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.
Truncus arteriosus is life-threatening and most babies will not live for more than a few months without treatment. Surgery is needed in the first few months of life to repair the heart and blood vessels, and fortunately, most babies with truncus arteriosus (more than 90 percent) survive the surgical repair.
The cost of the surgery, which David needs to get as soon as possible, is estimated at around US$15000 (approximately about 7.5 million) but his parents cannot afford it. They have been able to raise about 400 thousand naira only.
David is deteriorating and desperately needs your help.
Above can be verified by contacting David’s Pediatrician:
Dr D.A. Gbadero
Bowen University Teaching Hospital