Saving Muriel | Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy

[MUSIC] So, about 26 weeks
into my pregnancy, Muriel had been very consistent. I would feel her
kicking like clockwork. And over the course of
the fourth of July week, started to slow quite a bit. To the point where on the 4th of
July, I didn’t feel her at all.>>Fetal tachycardia has two big
problems associated with it. One is,
it can lead to heart failure. And if you don’t treat it,
it can actually kill the baby. The other thing is that it
damages the heart muscle. If the heart muscle
works hard all the time, then it takes a while
to recover from that. So, for those two reasons,
it’s important to actually treat a tachycardia before
the baby is born.>>The ultrasound
actually showed hydrops, fluid in her system.>>So, I simply said, well, we don’t have
the technical experts. Johns Hopkins does, so you’re going to have
to go up to Baltimore.>>Fetal therapy
basically is managing or treating fetal disease while
the baby’s still in the womb. And it can take several forms. Sometimes, it can be just
monitoring the baby just to make sure the well-being
is still preserved. Sometimes, it could be treating
the mother with medications that cross the placenta and
treat the baby. Sometimes, you actually fetal
surgery where you go into the uterus and operate,
it depends on the conditions. So, the first step is always
evaluate the problem, find out exactly what
the diagnoses is, and then choose
the appropriate treatment.>>He said, well,
let’s admit her. Let’s admit your wife and we’ll
get her on the machines and we’ll try and figure this out.>>Some testing, figure it out.>>He basically said, but I wanna check one more
time on the ultrasound. As soon as he started wanding
her, her heart rate went into->>Shot up. Her heart was basically
beating double-time.>>The baby just happened to
show me an episode of a rapid heartbeat when I
examined the baby. So, that actually made it
easy for us because we had a diagnosis and
we knew what we had to treat. We treat fetal
arrhythmias regularly.>>You have to understand.
It was such a roller coaster and there was so many, we had
no idea what was happening. And to have him sit there and
kind of chuckle and go, oh, it’s SVT.>>It’s almost, in my mind,
he said I got this. And his point was,
I understand what this is, and this is treatable. From that moment on,
we were visiting at least twice a week through the rest
of the pregnancy. Going up for ultrasounds,
and in the care of Dr. Bashad and his team.>>Each of the visits, we didn’t
talk necessarily about me, even though I’m
technically the patient. It was all about Muriel. We were treated as two people,
not as a mother and fetus. She was part of the process. So, I mean, I think that was one
of the most reassuring pieces about the entire process.>>And
now we’re facebook friends.>>[LAUGH] Exactly.>>And I have to say, it’s the
most personalized care I’ve ever experienced in my life. Between the pregnancy and then
through the birth, which is also another fun one, coz Dr.
Bushot didn’t have to be there. But there he was at 1 AM.>>For
fetal therapy specifically, you have to be able to take care
of the mother and the fetus. And once the baby is born,
of the child. And so, Johns Hopkins Hospital
is one of the very few institutions where actually
all the services are in the same hospital at
the highest level of acuity. So, you have the highest level
of acuity of maternal care, of fetal care, and
neonatal and pediatric care. And that’s rare, actually.>>This baby is now happy and
healthy, and we’re getting ready to wean her
away from the second medication.>>Yeah.
>>In time for her first birthday.>>Yup.

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