Baby Seth Stopped Breathing Monday Night

Doctors revived boy awaiting thymus transplant, but episode means surgery could be a month away

Tuesday, May 10, 2011  |  Updated 11:12 PM CDT
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Baby Seth Stopped Breathing Monday Night

Seth Petreikis

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The little Dyer, Ind., boy who has traveled with his family to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina for a potentially life-saving surgery has had a rough couple of days.

Seth Petreikis stopped breathing Monday evening, and doctors spent about five minutes doing chest compressions on the boy's tiny body before he was revived, said Tim Petreikis, the boy's father.

The boy had been struggling throughout the day, his father explained, but nothing that would indicate he would stop breathing.  Even with a breathing tube that was inserted shortly after the episode, baby Seth had a second incident, around midnight, where he stopped breathing.

Baby Seth was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome shortly after he was born.  The rare and fatal condition inhibits the body's immune system and only one doctor in the United States -- at Duke University Medical Center -- performs the thymus transplant that could save his life.

Tim Petreikis explained that the thymus tissue transplant can't even happen until his son is off the breathing tube for two weeks.  With Monday's episodes, it could now be a month before the transplant can be performed. 

Doctors are also considering doing heart repair surgery before the transplant.  The original plan was to do his heart repair surgery after the thymus transplant so it had a greater chance of success.

Full coverage: Seth Petreikis

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