Kelly and Nick Matovich were looking forward to the arrival of their first child, a baby girl. The pregnancy was progressing smoothly until the 20th week, when an ultrasound revealed that the left side of their baby’s heart was underdeveloped and not pumping blood properly. Doctors told the couple that the baby would require surgery as soon as possible after birth.
Kelly and Nick were stunned by the news but knew that BC Children’s Hospital would be the best place for their baby to be. Nova was born on January 12, 2012, and at only five days old, the newborn underwent her first reconstructive open-heart operation – the first of three operations that would be required to treat her life-threatening condition. The second procedure was completed five months later.
Kelly is grateful to the cardiac care team at BC Children’s for saving her daughter’s life. “Nova was only in the hospital for 11 days after her second surgery, which, to me, is incredible,” she says. “The doctors taught us how to take care of her and we were able to take her home. All the staff was amazing.”
Doctors anticipate that Nova will have her last operation when she is about three years old. It will enable her blood to be directed properly, meaning her blue, or de-oxygenated, blood will flow toward her lungs and pink, or oxygenated, blood to return to her body. After that, she will only be required to come back to BC Children’s once a year for follow-up care. Meanwhile, Nova is reaching all of her developmental milestones and according to Kelly, is a “super happy baby, full of life.”
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