Young Shetlander Shannon Hough was recently selected to be the first child in Scotland to be fitted with a newly-developed portable cardiac monitor.
Three-year-old Shannon, who lives with her parents Vaila and Andrew in Scalloway, has an unusually fast heart rhythm problem called paroxysmal junctional re-entry tachycardia (PJRT).
This made her heart go so fast for so long that the heart muscle became weakened and she became critically ill last year. Her heart rhythm is now well controlled with medication, but it is extremely important that she is monitored closely in case the heart rhythm becomes too fast or slow.
Shannon’s treatment was complicated by the fact that she lives so far away from Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow where she was a patient.
However the cardiac monitor, which is small, lightweight and easy to use, allowed her to go home and have her heart rhythm recorded over a 24-hour period.
The monitor could then be posted to Yorkhill for the recording to be analysed.
Shannon’s mother Vaila praised the treatment her “lovely little girl” received at Yorkhill.
She said: “We’re very happy that the treatment and that the medication is where it needs to be. We’ve still got a long road ahead, Shannon’s heart is still in the wrong rhythm and she’ll have to go back to theatre but she’s getting regular checks.
“She’s doing amazingly well, she’s back at playgroup and goes jazz dancing at Clickimin. She must be extremely strong to go through what she’s been through.”
It is hoped Shannon will eventually make a complete recovery.
Cardiac physiologist Colin Kean, in charge of the cardiac monitor service at Yorkhill, said: “Shannon is a delightful, bright, happy child who is an inspiration to us all. The efficiency of cardiac monitor service is largely down to the commitment of the Children With Heart Disorders charity who raise funds to help children in Scotland with heart conditions.
We are very grateful to them for that, and to other organisations who donate to us.” Shannon’s monitor came from this charity.