Heart Murmur

Mervin* is now 8 months old, but 2 months ago I didn’t know if he would live this long. Thanks to modern medicine and the pediatric cardiologist, Mervin looks pretty good at his well-baby check-up today. You see he has the same diagnosis as his brother who died before him – Cardiomyopathy.

After I delivered little Mervin for this Amish couple there was tremendous anxiety when I informed them that this son too had a heart murmur. ( They have one 3-year-old son with no apparent heart murmur) His chest X-ray showed no enlargement of the heart and he did well for the first 5 months of life. It was then that he started having feeding problems and slowing his weight gain. One day when I saw him he was extra fussy and breathing fast, so I knew it was time for him to see the cardiologist. Fortunately, Mervin didn’t even need to be hospitalized but improved quickly on Digitalis and two different diuretics.

At the office today everyone seemed quite pleased, and Mervin is smiling again and is catching up on growth and development like any 8-month-old baby. Obviously, the parents are still worried about the outcome, but I encouraged them that it seemed Mervin was doing better than his deceased brother did and there was still hope.