Baby is SAVED by hole in his heart: Defect allows back-to-front organ to work giving doctors time to operate
Hole in the bottom of Jayden's heart allowed blood to flow between the two bottom chambers
11:54 GMT, 20 July 2012
A baby boy born with a back-to-front heart has amazed doctors by making a miracle recovery.
Jayden Brooks, now seven months old, was born with a rare heart condition that caused his blood to pump around his body in the wrong direction – gradually starving his organs of oxygen. He also had a hole in his heart and amazingly doctors think this defect could have saved his life.
At just two weeks old Jayden was rushed to Southampton General Hospital, where medics managed to 'rewire' his heart.
Delighted: Jennifer with son Jayden just after birth (left) and at seven months (right) after successful surgery
Father John, 41, said: 'Within five hours of being born he was given the diagnosis. It hits you like a brick wall.
'It was one of the worst feelings imaginable to carry Jayden down to the operating theatre and hand him over to the anaesthetist. It was the longest day of my life.'
Within hours of his birth a nurse realised there was something wrong as Jayden began to turn purple, and a scan revealed the terrifying truth.
At just 12 hours old Jayden was diagnosed with the heart defect known as 'transposition of the great arteries' and a hole in the heart.
He was rushed to the specialist children's heart unit at Southampton Hospital by ambulance.
In a twist of fate, Jayden's mother Jennifer believes it was the hole in the heart that may have saved Jayden's life.
Jennifer, 26, said: 'The doctors said that the hole in the bottom if his heart had allowed blood to flow between the two bottom chambers and helped save him.
'It was such a relief when the surgeon came up and told us the operation was a success and he was on the road to recovery.'
Little fighter: Jayden at the time of his operation
Jayden pictured recently with his brother Joshua. Jayden underwent complicated surgery when he was just two weeks old
Doctors had wanted to wait longer for
his heart to strengthen but he lost almost a third of his body weight,
and was only 6lb 7oz by the time he underwent the six-hour op.
Before the op his condition was so severe that he was sleeping with a special alarm under his mattress to wake John and Jennifer if his heart stopped.
After close observation the tot is now off medication, and is back at the family home in Plymouth.
John, a plumber, said: 'It's a miracle what they can do. You wouldn't think he'd had the operation.
'He's like a normal baby, he's just got his two first teeth, keeps us awake, is very cheeky.'
All smiles: Jayden's parents said he was a typical 'cheeky' baby boy
Little Jayden (right) won his battle for life at Southampton General Hospital
Jayden was born at Derriford Hospital weighing 9lb 4oz at 3am on December 17. Previous scans had not revealed any problems.
John and Jennifer praised the “amazing” medical team at Southampton General Hospital.
Jennifer, a medical secretary, said: 'They saved his life. We can't thank them enough.
'The care and dedication they gave was amazing.'