Since 2013, helping children diagnosed with the valvular defect has become one of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation activities. For the systemic fight against this disease, the project “Healthy Heart” was launched in 2017. Under this project, leading doctors carry out correctional surgeries with the implantation of occluder (a special implant). This modern technique allows avoiding a complicated and difficult surgical procedure, when the surgeons have to make a kid’s thorax incision. Alternatively, the patient is implanted with an occluder (this is a six-millimeter spiral that, through a small incision in the thigh and an artery, pushing by the blood flow, enters directly into the problem area of the heart. Then it opens like an umbrella, closes the duct and over time it heals over by covering with muscle tissue.
One of the youngest participants of the project was Milana Borzenko from Mariupol city, the girl at that time was only four months old.
“The pregnancy was proceeding normally. The daughter was born a little ahead of schedule, but without complications. When Milana was one and a half months old, the pediatrician found murmurs in her heart. Nevertheless, we had a glimmer of hope that everything will work out. After all, neither me, nor my husband in the family had ever encountered such a disease before. However, the cardiac surgeon made the final diagnosis: valvular defect, or patent ductus arteriosus.” , said her mother Alina Vladimirovna.
The doctor who examined the baby still decided to consult with his metropolitan colleague Igor Ditkovsky. He advised to contact immediately the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.
“The case is quite rare for children of this age. The patent ductus arteriosus, or Botallus duct, in Milana body reached 4–5 mm. This size of ductus is too big for the infant, and the defect has already begun to give complications. In the future, this could lead to irreversible pulmonary hypertension and vascular sclerosis. Therefore, it had to be closed as quickly as possible. That was right decision that the parents did not wait until their daughter will be a little older. It have been too late when their daughter turns one. You might even have to do a heart transplantation. Thanks to the help of the Foundation, the ailment was promptly eliminated, and the baby can even go in for sports professionally.”, said Igor Ditkovsky.
When the girl’s mother was informed that the surgical procedure was successful, she could not hold back her tears of happiness.
“Thank you very much to Rinat Leonidovich for his help. Thanks to him, the heart of our baby became healthy. My husband and me dreamed only about this.”, thanked Alina Vladimirovna.
Polina Sidorenko became another participant of the project. At the age of three, she was admitted to the hospital with a high fever. Doctors suspected bronchitis, so they sent me for fluorography. The results worried the doctors, so they advised the parents to take the baby for an ultrasound of the heart.
“My daughter underwent an examination, after which a diagnosis was made and it was a secondary atrial septal defect. In other words, valvular defect. We were offered to operate Polina, but the cost of such surgical procedure for our family was unrealistic. I turned to the Foundation for help.”, said Victoria, mother of Polina.
The Foundation assisted in the operation to install the occluder and then the defect was healed.
“Thanks to Rinat Leonidovich for responding to our trouble. I do not even know what we would have done without his help.”, thanked Victoria.
The parents of the children who were helped by the Foundation said: there is no need to be afraid of a surgical procedure to implant an occluder. After all, a heart with an “umbrella” is not a sentence.
“I am the mother of a happy eight-year-old Nikita from the Luhansk region. Now our son’s heart is special, it has an “umbrella”! Thanks to invaluable help, support from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation and a team of wizards, who are the endovascular surgeons from the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery, the heart of my son became healthy! Of course, there were worries, anxieties, but thank God, everything went exactly as one could imagine in the kindest fairy tale. The next day after the closure of the septum defect in the heart with an occluder, Nikita made new acquaintances with the children in the surgery department and I had to look for him in the neighboring wards. I wish the parents who are faced with a similar situation strength, patience and confidence. Believe me, a heart with an “umbrella” is not a sentence, it is a healthy heart!”, Such letter came to the Foundation from a resident of the Luhansk region.
How to get help for a project
“Rinat Akhmetov to Children. Healthy Heart” is assistance in carrying out the surgery occluder implantation for children from newborn to 18 years old with congenital valvular defect registered in Donetsk and Luhansk regions from low-income and socially unprotected families.
Detailed information can be found on the Foundation hotline 0800 509 001.
As of today, 123 occluder implantations have been carried out within the project.