NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A 7-moth-old baby from Virginia Beach became one of the first babies to receive a new life-saving heart procedure at CHKD.
Baby Zoe Irby was born with patent ductus arteriosus, a heart defect that prevented her heart functioning properly. Babies are born with an opening between the two main vessels in the heart that usually closes on its own when a baby starts breathing.
Unfortunately for Zoe who was born premature, the opening in her heart did not close when she was born last July.
Last year, the federal Food and Drug Administration approved a new device called the Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder to treat tiny babies like Zoe. The self-expanding wire mesh device is inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart.
Since medication did not help Zoe and she was still too small for the bigger devices, the newly approved and much smaller Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder was the perfect solution for her treatment.
On July 18, Zoe was the first baby at CHKD to undergo the Piccolo treatment. Three days later, officials at CHKD reported that she was breathing so much better and was eventually taken off the ventilator, and discharged home.
“It was scary at first to try something so new, but the procedure didn’t take long, and Zoe started doing so much better afterwards,” said Cheyenne Irby, Zoe’s mother.
After Zoe’s success, four more babies at CHKD had the same procedure.
CHKD is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina.