2-pound Michigan Baby Undergoes Heart Procedure

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) -- A 2-pound Michigan newborn dubbed "Mighty Girl" by her parents is one of the smallest babies in the world to undergo a heart procedure to open up a blocked artery caused by a congenital defect.

A week later, Alexandra Mae Van Kirk is showing signs that her heart is working as it should, and she's growing.

Matt Van Kirk tells The Grand Rapids Press his daughter is "doing fantastic."

Dr. Joseph Vettukattil performed the pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty at DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.

He has done 300 such procedures over 20 years, but the smallest patient on which he performed it was 4 pounds. Vettukattil has heard of only one or two other babies smaller than Alexandra who have undergone the procedure.

He says "it was very tricky."


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