Patti Murin is perhaps best known for her role as Princess Anna in the Broadway musical adaptation of Disney’s “Frozen.” But the past year hasn’t exactly been a fairy tale, starting when Murin was diagnosed with the coronavirus in April – while also six months pregnant.
“It was terrifying," Murin told NY1’s Ruschell Boone. "It was the sickest, I think I’ve been in probably my entire life.” She said for more than a month, symptoms would go away only to return as strong as ever.
The difficulties only increased when, about halfway through Murin’s pregnancy, she and her husband, actor Colin Donnell, learned their baby had a hole in her heart and would require surgery to survive. Their daughter Cecily was born in July, and had open heart surgery at just 10 weeks old.
The condition is called a Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD. According to pediatric cardiologist Dr. Miwa Geiger, who has been overseeing Murin and Cecily’s care at Mount Sinai Hospital, congenital heart defects occur in 0.8% to 1% in all pregnancies, and VSD is the most common defect that can be detected before birth.
Murin said since she and Donnell were first-time parents, they didn’t know what to expect even without taking the pandemic into consideration. But she warned even experienced moms and dads to prepare for a lot of changes when adding to their family during this time.
“It’s a different world,” she said. ”If you have had children before, just be prepared for things to be very, very different in terms of hospital visits, OBGYN visits, all of that. I think it’s a whole different ball game.”
Donnell said the ordeal was “certainly scary,” but he praised the team at Mount Sinai from ICU nurses to Cecily’s surgeon, saying everyone made it as seamless of a process as possible.