Rossville girl’s heart surgery may be delayed amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Health Check

ROSSVILLE, Kan. (KSNT) – The coronavirus may delay a young Kansas girl’s major heart surgery.

Makalyn Aubert lives near Rossville, and just turned 7 years old earlier this month. She was born with her heart in the right side of her chest and has multiple heart defects.

“Her heart is basically backwards,” said Melissa Aubert, Makalyn’s mom. “It’s on the wrong side of her chest, and she has one pumping chamber.”

She’s undergone two of three surgeries to repair her heart all in the first six months of her life.

“They said that for her to have this three-stage heart repair, she would have a longer and better quality of life to fix her heart, rather then if they were to give her a heart transplant to a full chamber or whole heart,” Aubert said. “If you do a heart transplant, we’ve been told that it could maybe last 15 years. They don’t really know what the outlook is for this three-stage repair, but they hope it’s longer than 15 years.”

“Because of that surgery she will have a little more stamina to be active,” said Dr. Masoud Noruzian, Makalyn’s Pediatrician at Cotton O’Neil in Topeka.

Typically, Noruzian said the third surgery is done before the child turns 3 years old, but Makalyn hasn’t been able to meet the 35-pound weight requirement for the surgery until recently.

“The surgeon made it clear since the beginning, that for the third surgery she needed to be 35 pounds, because of her heart being backwards and needing enough room to work on her,” Aubert said. “So we’ve been having issues with weight gain. But now she’s weighing 38 pounds, so it’s go time.”

Makalyn’s third surgery is planned for April 9 in St. Louis, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, doctors are making surgical decisions week-by-week, and there is a possibility the procedure could be rescheduled. Once she has the surgery, Noruzian said her future afterwards is promising.

“Usually this surgery is very well tolerated and the side effects are pretty low,” Noruzian said. “So we’re hopeful that she will be better in the next few years.”

And through it all, Makalyn and her family are so grateful for the extensive support they’ve received.

“It’s been amazing. We’ve had a lot of support from the school, friends, and family,” Aubert said.

The family is selling a $15 T-shirt to show Makalyn support around the community, and help with her medical costs. Just email if interested.

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