•Micky had been admitted at the facility on January 10 after he was born with a congenital heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot in 2018
•This is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defetcs that are present at birth which limits blood flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body.
The hole in baby Carson's heart drowned every breath he took.
Slowly,his skin turned blue and his organs weakened.
Rose Muchikha, his mother, instinctively knew there was something wrong with her baby.
She, however, did not know how serious the condition was.
It would later need five urgent surgeries.
On January 18, 2022, the four-year-old went under the knife. Surgeons opened the left side of his chest in an attempt to seal off the hole.
As the hole closed, however, other conditions emerged in other organs. Kidney failure, chest infections and liver problems.
Baby Carson sailed through all those.
On Monday, Kenyatta National Hospital doctors led by Dr Naomi Gachara, a paediatric cardiologist announced that the cuts had paid off. Baby Carson Micky was now well.
Muchikha could not hold back her tears of joy.
Monday marked the end of her three months stay at the KNH.
The baby had been admitted at the facility on January 10 after he was born with a congenital heart disease known as Tetralogy of Fallot in 2018.
“It has not been very easy. It has been a struggle at times and as a dad you lose hope when you see your child in critical condition,” Eric Mirema, Carson’s father said.
The disease is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth that limits blood flow out of the heart and into the rest of the body.
It is a hole in the wall between the two lower chambers.
It is depicted in the narrowing of the pulmonary valve and main pulmonary artery, enlarged aortic valve.
Other conditions see the muscular wall of the lower right chamber of the heart being thicker than normal.
Born at Mama Lucy hospital in Nairobi’s Eastlands, Carson was referred to KNH when he was just two weeks old, for specialised attention and care.
He underwent a successful surgery on January 18 after an operation of three and a half hours conducted by a team of cardiologists and anaesthetists.
“We found that he had one of the conditions we refer to as 'blue babies'. He was actually blue and that means he had a hole in the heart," Dr Gachara said.
"The blood that was supposed to go to the lungs was not and the pumping was a bit narrowed.”
Gachara said they kept following him very closely at the clinic until he was one year and 11 months old.
It was then that they found his colour was darkening meaning he was becoming more blue.
His weight was rather stagnating necessitating the surgery.
Carson's condition affects normal blood flow through the heart, leading to bluish looking skin colour called cyanosis, because their blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen.
According to experts, this happens when a baby’s heart does not form correctly as the baby grows and develops in the mother’s womb during pregnancy.
This is not the first case the hospital is handling.
However, baby Carson’s case was complicated and he had to go to the theatre five times. He pulled through.
Dr Morris Muhinga, a cardiothoracic surgeon at KNH said that even though the surgery itself is not complicated, what becomes difficult is the post-operative care.
“The only place which he never had any trouble with is his brain.That is what is what helped him," Muhinga said.
"He had infections in the chest, he had renal failure. At some stage the liver had issues but he was able to pull through.”
According to the medic, after the open heart surgery was conducted, Carson developed acute kidney injury.
They discovered that the amount of urine that was coming out was not enough and a team of specialists had to be called in to fix the problem.
Other surgeries he had to undergo include fixing the catheter for dialysis as well as a surgery to clean his left chest.
The doctors also discovered when he ate, he would vomit hence he needed an upper GI endoscopy.
“We sent Carson home on oxygen, so we needed to bring in a pulmonologist who had to take him back to theatre to look at how the airways was, a procedure called bronchoscopy,” Muhinga said.
Dr Simon Nderitu, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the facility said that after the surgery, the child went into ICU which is routine practice for immediate post surgery care.
It is while in the ICU that they encountered several challenges that had to involve the big teams.
“Some of the challenges included problems with the lungs and kidneys," Nderitu said.
"We had to involve the lung and kidney specialists because their main task is to help support patients who are critically ill in the ICU.”
KNH is the only public hospital that has the capacity both in personnel and supporting infrastructure to carry out the highly delicate surgeries successfully.
The hospital attends to three to four patients a week.
In the case of baby Carson, it limits the number of surgeries since it requires quite involving care and a long duration of time in post operation care.
Carson has been given a clean bill of health and is expected to live an active, healthy life.
Hi will attend regular follow up visits to monitor his progress.
(Edited by Francis Wadegu)