Alex, 13 months old, was rescued from a very rare deformity of the heart thanks to even more rare surgery at the children's hospital in Toulouse last April. The doctor and the parents tell it. Squeezed into the arms of his father, Alex wags his brown curls. His mother made sure to give him a pink shirt to string his little shoes.
Arriving from Rodez she lives in the Mandalyan family in the children's hospital. Here Alex has been operated twice and is always followed. "Of course he recognizes me! I've seen him since his birth," says Dr. Fabio Cuttone, cardiac surgeon at the University Hospital of Toulouse.
Last April the doctor operated the baby, at the age of seven months, from a conotonic rotation, an extremely rare and complex form of cardiac malformation that sentenced him to death. The surgeon had already intervened on his left artery several days after Alex's birth in August 2017.
Alex with his parents, Liana and Ashot Mandalyan in the Children & # 39; s Hospital./ Photos & DDM Nathalie Saint-Affre.
Heart stopped for 140 minutes
"We save children every day, but Alex's illness is so special that I have tremendous joy", laughs. Cuttone. During this operation that was rarely performed (the scientific literature has 19 in the world), the CHU team had to interrupt the heart of the small patient for 140 minutes, a collection sample of the aorta and artery. pulmonary, then proceeded to a 180 ° rotation and a re-implantation of the block in its anatomical position.
Thanks to this technique, Alex lives today with a completely normal heart, without treatment. He grew up in Rodez, where his parents came from Armenia eight years ago, along with his older brother Daniel. Every month he returns to the children's hospital for control. "I remember going to the block at 8 o'clock and leaving around 10 o'clock.
Previously I worked a lot with the imaging department, studied and rebuilt Alex's heart with a 3D printer to prepare the intervention. I thank the whole team and the managers who let me make this technical gesture safe (1), "says Dr. Fabio Cuttone, young surgeon for 39 years.
"This team saved the life of our son"
Around him, between the legs of his mother, the boy paints a few steps. "Alex is a child full of life, he moves all the time, he dances, we forgot he was operated," Ashot Mandalyan breathed. "Before the operation, he was almost up, he ate a little, now everything is fine," adds Liana Mandalyan, who fearfully remembers the first intervention. to his son.
"After his birth, he was operated and hospitalized for 35 days, it was a great stress, and the second time I knew everyone we had confidence", says the mother. & # 39; The doctors have told us that it is your baby, it is going to be a fight. For us it was difficult, we did not know if the heart of Alex could be repaired. We can say thank you a thousand times, it will not be enough, this team saved the life of our son, "Ashot Mandalyan concludes.
(1) The little Alex Mandalyan was supported by Dr. Fabio Cuttone in team with Prof. Bertrand Léobon, cardiac surgeon, Dr. Gérald Chausseray, pediatric cardio anesthetist, Dr. Lionel Berthomieu, pediatric resuscitator and the team of cardiology by dr. Yves Dulac.