This page is to give some details of why, ultimately, Jane is in the hospital. A couple people asked for some details like this, so rather than trying to describe it a few times, read below.
Jane has a congenital heart defect that developed when she was 6-8 weeks in mom’s tummy. It’s called Ebstein’s Anomaly, described as malformation and malposition of the tricuspid valve at the entrance to the right ventricle, which pumps blood to the lungs to get oxygenated. The blood then delivers oxygen (and other stuff) to the rest of the body. In Jane’s case, her heart has to work harder because she’s dealing with a poor tricuspid valve. This caused the heart to enlarge as it was developing in the womb, and measured now takes up about 80% of her chest, leaving little space for her lungs to grow.
Ultimately, she’s pumping less blood to smaller lungs.
Q: What is Ebstein’s anomaly?
A: (Quotes from Children’s Hospital Boston – Ebstein’s Anomaly page http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1963/mainpageS1963P1.html) Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare heart defect of Jane’s tricuspid valve that can cause congestive heart failure. In Ebstein’s anomaly, the leaflets that make up the tricuspid valve are malformed and malpositioned too far down into the right ventricle.
Sometimes, one of the leaflets is displaced downward into the ventricle, while another leaflet is larger than usual and is sometimes abnormally attached to the wall of the ventricle, which may be abnormally small. When this occurs, blood leaks backward from the ventricle to the atrium. This causes enlargement of the atrium and it can lead to congestive heart failure, a back up of blood flow that results in a fluid buildup in the body.
In addition, an opening in the septum between the two atria that occurs normally in the fetus, called the foramen ovale, fails to close in some newborns with Ebstein’s anomaly because of the high volume of blood in the right atrium. The opening, called the patent foramen ovale (PFO), allows the mixing of oxygen-poor blue blood from the right atrium with oxygen-rich red blood in the left atrium. This results in poor oxygen levels in the blood that circulates through the body.