Tiny heart repaired while baby still in the womb

At 28 weeks pregnant, Deena Vroegindewey from Hudsonville was admitted for a heart procedure at U-M Von Voigtlander Hospital. But not for her heart — for her unborn baby’s.

Days earlier, an ultrasound showed something wrong with the tiny heart growing inside of her. A severely narrowed valve, known as aortic stenosis, was blocking blood flow to the rest of the baby. The defect was expected to cause worse heart conditions as her baby boy, Breck, grew.

The family had been referred from their local doctor to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The Mott Congenital Heart Center is among less than a dozen programs in the country and the only one in Michigan that offers fetal cardiac intervention to treat aortic stenosis in utero.

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