Published: Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Open Heart surgery patient makes miraculous recovery



A patient of the Golden Jubilee National Hospital is making a miraculous recovery following life saving open heart surgery for an extremely rare heart condition.


Sarah Crawford, 29 from Uddingston, initially assumed there was nothing seriously wrong when she began to suffer from dizziness, chest pain and breathlessness. After visiting her GP and being admitted for a series of tests, Sarah was referred to the Golden Jubilee in May 2013 where an incredibly rare heart condition was diagnosed.


Sarah said: “I had a Myocardial Fibroma – a large benign tumour, about the size of an orange, in the wall of my heart. I was informed that this mostly occurs in children and young people and that if it was not removed, I was at risk of sudden death,


Initially unsure if it would be safe to remove the tumour, Consultants at the Golden Jubilee contacted experts in the UK and abroad to assess the viability of the operation and were advised by the Mayo Clinic in America that they had had some success in removing tumours of this type.


Discussing Sarah’s case, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Golden Jubilee, Mr Kenneth MacArthur stated: “Sarah was already suffering symptoms as a result of this extremely rare condition, to the extent that she was almost experiencing heart failure due to obstruction to the left ventricle (one of the four chambers of the human heart).


“In 20 years performing cardiac surgery, I have never seen a tumour as large as Sarah’s in a case like this. Due to its size and position, surgery was a very risky option as there was a very real chance of causing damage to the surrounding heart, which would have made it impossible to bring her off of the artificial heart and lung machine. In years gone by, this operation would not even have been attempted.


“However, due to the specialised expertise available to us at the Golden Jubilee and the advances which have been made in Ventricular Assist Devices (mechanical hearts) and transplant procedures, it was decided that we were willing to attempt to remove the Fibroma.”


After weighing up the options, Sarah decided to go ahead with the procedure and underwent successful open heart surgery on 22 July 2013, and after spending five days in the Intensive Care Unit and a further 11 days in the ward of the Golden Jubilee, has gone on to make a remarkable recovery.


Sarah said: “The care I received was outstanding, and the staff at the Golden Jubilee have been fantastic from the moment I stepped through the door. My parents were so grateful for what they have done for me that they decided to not only make a personal donation to the hospital, but requested money in lieu of gifts for their Ruby Wedding Anniversary, managing to raise £2,000.


“I had an MRI in October and the results were fantastic. I’m now hoping to return to work soon and looking forward to celebrating my 30th birthday in a couple of weeks. I am so grateful for the skill and expertise of the doctors and staff at the hospital.”


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