A big miracle in tiny bundle
Published: March 6, 2006 | 3688th good news item since 2003
HIS mother calls him Mr Miracle and little Bodhi Pinter certainly lives up to the nickname.
The five-month-old first amazed his parents, who thought they were unable to become pregnant without the help of IVF, when he was conceived naturally.
But it was Bodhi’s determined fight for life that really staggered his parents Alex and Dez.
The baby boy has undergone major heart surgery, has stopped breathing several times and has spent a lot of his short life in the intensive-care ward of the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Bodhi was diagnosed at birth with a combination of four serious heart defects, including a hole between his ventricles and a narrowing of his artery.
The cardiac condition resulted in low blood flow and oxygen supply to Bodhi’s lungs, which caused terrifying blue spells when he stopped breathing.
Bodhi had five blue spells within 24 hours on the day he was rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in his home town of Adelaide.
He stayed in its intensive care ward for four days before the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew him to the Melbourne’s RCH.
He underwent a six-hour cardiac operation there so doctors could patch the hole in his heart and restore oxygen supply to his lungs.
Cardiac surgeon Dr Andrew Cochrane said the operation went smoothly, but afterwards Bodhi’s heart rate was abnormally high.
It was racing at 230 beats a minute when it should have been somewhere between 140-150.
Hours after his operation, Bodhi’s heart rate suddenly and sharply dropped. Doctors feared his heart had stopped beating altogether.
“They had to give him chest compressions and, at that point, I was quite hysterical,” Alex said.
Bodhi’s heart rate eventually stabilised after spending four days on an ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine.
The Royal Children’s is the only hospital in Australia that has an ECMO and it has saved many young lives, including Bodhi’s.
“His risk of dying would have been higher and he could have been much sicker for longer without ECMO,” Dr Cochrane said.
Although he may need to undergo further heart surgery in his late teens, Bodhi is now fighting fit and has returned home to Adelaide.
“Its just great not to be living in a state of perpetual fear,” Alex said.
“It’s a big relief to know that I can now pick him up without him without having any tubes attached to him.”