Viagra and Healthy Hearts: Viagra Keeps Cerys Small Alive

Viagra and Healthy Hearts: Viagra Keeps Cerys Small Alive. A ten-month old baby girl, who battled three open-heart surgeries in the first months of her life, is being kept alive by daily doses of Viagra.

Cerys Small, who lives with her family in Maesglas, Newport, South Wales, was born with a severe heart defect, no spleen and problems with her stomach and bowel. Her condition is kept stable by the anti-impotence drug.

Viagra it is best known as drug for men who have trouble having erections, but before scientists realized it could treat this sexual dysfunction, it was initially designed as a heart drug. And for people like Cerys it is still used to treat pulmonary hypertension to prepare for further major heart surgery.

Without Viagra Cerys’ pulmonary hypertension makes her suffer from cyanotic spells. During these spells, her skin turns blue or purple as constricted blood vessels force her heart to work harder just to get her blood circulating.

viagra and healthy hearts cerys small

Cerys has already undergone three lifesaving surgeries and will require more operations. Her parents, Gareth and Kerrie Small, hope the treatment with Viagra will keep her alive until she is older and stronger.

“As long as the Viagra keeps working, the next operation should be between three and five years old,” her mother said.

“We were giggling when they told us what drug she would need—but what many people don’t realize is that it was originally developed as a heart drug.”

“She still has (cyanotic) bouts, but not as many, so the Viagra’s doing its job. She might need an operation next year, before her next big one, but at the moment she’s as well as we can get her.”

Cerys’ complex heart problems were first detected as a hole in her heart shown by a pregnancy scan when her mom was 20 weeks pregnant. At some point doctors thought the prognosis was so bad, that they asked her parents to consider terminating the pregnancy, but her parents were determined to go ahead.

Weeks after she was born, she began having cyanotic spells. As these increased, Cerys had to undergo three surgeries.

Grateful for the success of these surgeries, Cerys’ parents and her school age siblings Evan and Megan raised almost £1,750 (US$2,730) to buy more heart testing equipment for the Bristol hospital that saved her life.

They raised the money through a sponsored walk along more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in South Wales.

“We want to raise some money to say thank you for all they’ve done for us and for others,” Mrs. Small said.

Viagra and Healthy Hearts: Viagra Keeps Cerys Small Alive. Posted 6 December 2011.