Baby saved by the world’s only 3D MRI scanner at Evelina Children’s hospital

Staff Reporter (14 April, 2021)

'Looking at Leo, you wouldn’t know he has a heart condition and a big operation,' his mother said

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A baby boy has been saved by a 3D scan at Evelina London Children’s Hospital – the only hospital in the world with that technology, writes Kit Heren… 

Doctors found a problem with Leo Coe’s heart in a routine scan when he was still in the womb, after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Mother Laura Teale was referred to the Royal Brompton Hospital cardiology unit, and then Evelina London Children’s Hospital – the only hospital in the world with a 3D MRI scanner.

The scan picked up that Leo had Total Anomalous Pulmonary Vein Damage – a very serious condition where blood carrying oxygen does not flow back to the heart properly.

Doctors delivered Leo in an operating theatre in St Thomas’ hospital, with support from a Royal Brompton Hospital surgeon. Leo spent nearly three weeks in hospital after the operation – including twelve days in intensive care – before he could go home.

Laura said: “Looking at Leo, you wouldn’t know he has a heart condition and a big operation.

“We feel incredibly lucky that Leo’s condition was picked up. No-one wants to have that diagnosis, but for Leo it might have been a completely different story if his condition hadn’t been picked up before he was born.

“This has saved his life and given him a better life. We’ve benefitted from this great partnership with specialists at Royal Brompton, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Evelina London.

“We appreciate so much what all the doctors and nurses have done for Leo and us during this past year. We could never thank them enough.”

Dr David Lloyd, from Evelina London, said: “It’s wonderful to see Leo doing so well. 3D fetal MRI scans allow our teams to see the baby’s heart, lungs and blood vessels in more detail before they are born. This enables us to give the best possible care to babies and their families.

Dr Laura Vazquez-Garcia, from Royal Brompton Hospital, said: “I’m very pleased that Leo is doing well. By sharing expertise and technology with Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Evelina London, we’ve been able to give Leo the best chance at good health.

Leo, who is now seven months old, continues to be closely monitored at Evelina London.

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