Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
According to cardiology experts at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a hole in the ventricular septum - the muscular wall that separates the right and left ventricles, or main pumping chambers, of the heart. It is the most common type of congenital (present from birth) heart condition.
In patients with VSD, oxygen-rich blood passes from the left ventricle and mixes with oxygen-poor blood in the right ventricle. This sends extra blood to the lungs and makes them work harder. The larger the hole, the more symptoms it can cause. Some infants may develop difficulty with growth and breathing. Symptomatic VSDs may be able to be managed with medication. If that is not sufficient, surgical repair is recommended. If left untreated, a large VSD can cause pulmonary hypertension, which can lead to lung disease.
Roxie was born with two VSDs that never required surgery. Her stamina was slightly affected during her earliest years but was not in any way alarming. Both of her VSDs had largely closed on their own by her sixth birthday, thanks to the healing powers of the human body…and to Roxie’s very own superpowers (again, according to Roxie).
Some children have VSDs that do require surgery. Meow Meow Foundation will support CHLA pediatric cardiology efforts so that those young ones live the lives they deserve.
Roxie’s cardiologist, Lennis Burke, was as kind, caring and concerned as they come. He made it easy for Roxie and us to understand every step in the healing process. Like Dr. Church, Roxie’s immunologist, Dr. Burke came to the hospital the day Roxie died. We will never forget the agony in his face and the trembling in his body, knowing how far she had come and yet how quickly she had gone.
More on VSDs.