Doctors at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset and Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan saved a woman who was 20 weeks pregnant after the expectant mother’s heart began to falter under the strain.
Loydi Lopez, 31, of Amityville, developed complications five months into her pregnancy, suffering from severe mitral valve stenosis or an extreme narrowing of one of her heart valves, NSUH officials said.
“We knew when Ms. Lopez came to us that we needed to do something and quickly or she and her baby’s health would be in danger,” said Burton Rochelson, chief of maternal-fetal medicine for the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
It meant Lopez’s heart was straining to work with increased blood flow, which is common during pregnancy. She tired easily and struggled to breathe. Her heart rate was irregular and dangerously fast, doctors said.
Doctors inserted a balloon into Lopez’s mitral valve to expand it in a non-surgical procedure. Carlos Ruiz, director of the structural and congenital heart disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital, teamed with Donna Marchant, director of the cardiac fellowship program at NSUH, to treat Lopez.
The fix allowed Lopez to carry her pregnancy to full term and Derek was born Sept. 24.
Mom, son and doctors reunited Friday to take a victory lap.
“I was confident in God and the doctors here,” Lopez said. “My youngest child wanted a younger brother to play with and I’m looking forward to seeing all of my children together – happy and healthy.”