Premature Twins Born At 31 Weeks Has Heart Defects
Everyone hopes their newborn babies come out healthy. A mother in Singapore, however, faced the concerning situation of having premature twins with heart defects.
Earlier this year, Ms Zhuang (transliterated from Chinese), a Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) from Malaysia, became pregnant with twins. 31 weeks into her pregnancy, the doctor hospitalised her over abnormalities in foetus development.
She underwent an emergency caesarean section (C-section), but doctors then found that her premature twins had heart defects.
Facing the burden of rising medical bills, Ms Zhuang launched an online fundraising campaign, appealing for donations.
Woman gave birth to premature twins via C-section
8world News reported that Ms Zhuang, a 36-year-old bank employee, moved to Singapore from Malaysia eight years ago.
Now a Singapore PR, she got married in 2021 and learnt of her pregnancy in January this year.
Even though she was happy at the time, Ms Zhuang got worried upon realising she had twins.
In the Give.Asia campaign page, Ms Zhuang explained that she and her husband planned their finances carefully for one new child, and not two. She called the pregnancy “a constant battle against fear and financial strain”.
Things escalated in Aug 2023, about 31 weeks into the pregnancy.
At a routine hospital checkup, doctors alerted Ms Zhuang to serious complications in the twins’ development.
Doctors performed an emergency C-section, bringing her newborns into the world prematurely. Their son, Wen Le, weighed only 1,640 grams while their daughter Ley En emerged half as tiny at 790g.
Premature twins born with heart defects
Unsurprisingly, premature babies usually face a myriad of health issues, Ms Zhuang’s twins were no exception.
Doctors at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital diagnosed Wen Le with Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) — a heart condition.
PDA occurs when an opening between the aorta and pulmonary artery, two major blood vessels leaving the heart, does not close shortly after birth.
According to Mayo Clinic, a large PDA could result in heart failure.
The hospital admitted Wen Le into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after birth. Fortunately, their son overcame the heart condition two months later and doctors discharged him.
In addition to her tiny size, doctors diagnosed Ley En with a ventricular septal defect (VSD).
Mayo Clinic explained that a VSD is a hole between the left and right ventricles of the heart. Babies with large VSDs may experience life-threatening complications such as heart failure.
Doctors also admitted Ley En to the ICU after birth. Since then, her condition has been “improving steadily” and the hospital moved her to a general ward two weeks ago.
Mother seeks donations to cover high medical fees
Even so, Ms Zhuang said her daughter’s “road to recovery is long”. Doctors could not give an estimated discharge date.
Furthermore, should the VSD not close naturally, Ley En would require surgery.
The worried parents would visit the hospital every two days to hold and feed their daughter.
Even though there isn’t much that the couple can do, Ms Zhuang said that the hope of seeing their children recover and grow up was what drove them to carry on.
However, the soaring hospital bills are compounding their stresses, on top of the twins’ heart defects.
Ms Zhuang revealed that the medical fees have reached S$150,000 so far.
She recently turned to the crowdfunding site Give.Asia, appealing for donations to cover the medical costs. The concerned mother set a goal of S$167,000 for the current hospital expenses but admitted that their daughter’s bills would likely continue to grow.
Regardless, any donations would lessen their financial burden and contribute to helping young Ley En recover.
The fundraiser accumulated S$33,274 from 569 generous donors at press time.
Those interested in contributing can do so via the Give.Asia crowdfunding site. Every little bit “makes a significant difference,” Ms Zhuang said.
MS News wishes Ley En a swift and healthy recovery.
Earlier this year, a couple in Singapore raised S$2.4 million for their baby, who was diagnosed with a severe muscular disorder.
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