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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

'Terrible coincidence': Father and son, 3, may both need heart transplants due


Unlucky: Frasier Rusling essentially has half a heart, while his father Simon is suffering from heart failure. The conditions are unrelated

A father has been told he needs a heart transplant just weeks after discovering his three-year-old son may need the same life-saving operation.

Simon Rusling, 31, was told he needed life-saving surgery and a possible transplant after doctors found out the arteries of his heart were in the wrong position.

His son Frasier has a serious non-hereditary heart defect that means he essentially has half a heart.

Mr Rusling said: 'Doctors have told us mine and Frasier's conditions are not linked or hereditary, it's just a terrible coincidence.'

Little fighter: Frasier has received treatment from a children's heart ward at Leeds General Infirmary - but it may close due to budget cuts

He and his wife Anita were delighted when Frasier was born in January 2008, but their joy turned to fear about a heart expert told them Frasier had a pulmonary atresia - a form of congenital heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly.

The little battler, who also has a hypo-plastic right ventricle, underwent surgery for the first time aged just two weeks to have a tube put into his chest to link his lungs and his heart to improve the oxygen supply.

Frasier went back in October 2009 for a second operation to fit a bigger tube and it was then that Simon discovered he was ill.

Former taxi company owner Simon, from Doncaster, went to see doctors after being unable to eat and losing three-and-a-half stone in just three weeks.

He initially put it down to the stress of Frasier's illness but doctors told him he had heart failure and would need a complicated operation involving new valves and chambers.

In the future he will need a heart transplant, because his arteries are the wrong way round, but doctors are delaying the operation as long as possible because the new heart would only be expected to work for 25 to 30 years.

source: dailymail


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