BR In Utero Heart Surgery

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TORONTO – Watching Kristine Barry and husband Christopher Havill of Barrie, Ontario cuddle their two-month-old son Sebastian, it’s hard to believe their little guy has been through three major medical procedures, including one even before he was born.

Weeks before his birth in May, Toronto doctors discovered through imaging scans that Sebastian had not one, but two congenital heart defects — and they knew they had to do something fairly radical to bring him into the world and give him a chance at a healthy life.

That something was an in-utero procedure to poke a hole in the wall between the upper chambers of his tiny heart, which had developed with no opening.

It’s believed to be the first in-utero heart operation performed on a fetus with major cardiac arteries that weren’t in the proper locations.

Havill says it was pretty intense hearing the doctors would operate while the baby was still inside his wife.

Barry says it’s something you would think would only happen on a T-V medical show, not in real life.

Baby Sebastian had a second procedure after his birth on May 23rd to repair his major cardiac arteries and open heart surgery five days later to switch his aorta and pulmonary artery into their proper positions.

He now weighs 10 pounds and is meeting all his developmental milestones.