GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A 2-pound Michigan newborn dubbed “Mighty Girl” by her parents is one of the smallest babies in the world to undergo a heart procedure to open up a blocked artery caused by a congenital defect.
A week later, Alexandra Mae Van Kirk is showing signs that her heart is working as it should — and she’s growing.
Matt Van Kirk toldThe Grand Rapids Press his daughter is “doing fantastic” — and mom, Heidi Van Kirk said the tiny girl has an excellent prognosis.
“She’ll always have a slight murmur, but it’s nothing to be concerned about,” Heidi Van Kirk told WWJ Newsradio 950. “They’re very excited about how it’s gone; and they’re watching it every day since and taking echos of it, and it’s just great. Everything’s going great with her heart.”
Dr. Joseph Vettukattil performed the pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.
He has done 300 such procedures over 20 years, but the smallest patient on which he performed it was 4 pounds. Vettukattil has heard of only one or two other babies smaller than Alexandra who have undergone the procedure.
He says “it was very tricky.”
Heidi Van Kirk said she’s so much more than grateful to the medical team at Devos Children’s Hospital.
“There are not enough words to explain how thankful we are for Dr. Joseph and just his willingness to take care of our little girl and do this for her,” she said.
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