Sofia was an orphan with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe and now has a forever family.
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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sofia's Heart

One of the only pieces of medical information we have on Sofia, besides her diagnosis of Down syndrome, is that she has a "small open oval window and no other heart disease." Unfortunately medical information is often unreliable when dealing with orphans and international adoption so we won't know until she is home and thoroughly examined by a cardiologist how accurate this information is. We hope that this is indeed the case, for her sake and that there is nothing more serious going on with her heart. In the meantime, I needed to do a little research on what an "open oval window" means for her cardiovascular health.

An "oval window" is also a PFO (patent= open and foramen ovale=passage way used in utero to reroute blood and bypass the lungs). It generally closes within 48 hours after birth and in 75% of the cases at least by age 3. A PFO is small and if it needs to be closed it's always a cath lab procedure. 25% of the adult population has a PFO and most don't even know it. Risk factors to having this stay open includes the possibility of blood clots forming in the opening and causing strokes.

Joaquin does not have any medical issues related to his heart so this is one area that will be completely new for us as a family. We feel confident that we will be able to get the very best care for Sofia once she's home with us. Thank goodness for our healthcare here in the States. It may not be perfect but it's certainly better than most of the rest of the world.


  1. My prayers are a daily event for Sofia. Trust God. He does know what He is doing! But that is awesome that you are finding out what you need to know beforehand. She is so precious. I know your arms ache for her.

  2. I had no idea that's what an "oval window" is... Sheridan has a small PFO (as of the last cardiologist visit it looked closed). His cardiologist said that a decent % of adults have the PFO but opens and closes like a door. So not sure if Sheridan's is truly closed/healed or if the door is just shut for now ;-) I'm more than happy to share with you what I know if you'd like a parent perspective. But it was a huge relief to me (and I'm sure to you!) when I learned it is a minimally-invasive procedure to close it.

  3. A PFO...Lillian has a PFO also, along with a VSD. However, her cardiologist said that the PFO is not so much of a concern than the VSD, so she is one lucky girl!

    I hope hope hope and wish wish wish that we get to meet her before we leave! Bring her her home soon!


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