Baby with half a heart who was nearly aborted because her chance of survival was so low celebrates first birthday
Daisy underwent a gruelling four-hour operation to ‘rewire’ her heart so it could function properlyThe youngster has gone from strength to strength and is now learning to walk
16:26 GMT, 30 August 2012
Stephanie Greer with her daughter Daisy who became the youngest child in Scotland to have her heart rewired
A couple who were advised to abort their unborn baby when doctors found she only had half a heart were celebrating yesterday – as she prepares to celebrate her first birthday.
Daisy Davidson was given just a 40 per cent chance of survival after she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease Tricuspid Atresia in the womb. However, her mother Stephanie Greer, 19, refused to have a termination.
Daisy was born in September 2011 and after a few days in intensive care was growing stronger every week. But she then developed a life-threatening infection when she was just six months old, causing her body to shut down.
The youngster underwent a gruelling four-hour operation to ‘rewire’ the remaining side of her heart so it could function on its own, becoming the smallest Scottish child to have the operation.
Daisy is now about to celebrate her first birthday – a day her parents thought they would never see.
Stephanie, who plans to throw a family party for her brave daughter, said: 'At first doctors thought she had a hole in her heart, but it turns out half of it just wasn’t there.
'When she got the infection and her body began to shut down we didn’t think she would come out of hospital, so for her to celebrate her first birthday is amazing.
'It’s a day we never thought we would see. It will be a very emotional day for our family.'
Stephanie’s pregnancy went well until doctors at Crosshouse Hospital, East Ayrshire, spotted what was thought to be a hole in Daisy’s heart at her 20-week scan.
The worried mother was asked to attend a consultation at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital where an expert from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill gave them the devastating news that half of Daisy’s heart was missing.
Stephanie said she was then given the agonising option of aborting her unborn baby but decided to carry on with the pregnancy.
She carried her daughter almost to term and when was induced five days early Daisy weighed a healthy seven pounds three ounces. Daisy was kept in hospital for five days before being allowed home where she was fed on high calorie milk and given daily aspirin to thin her blood.
But just before Christmas last year the young girl’s health began to decline when she developed a viral infection.
Daisy Davidson underwent the first major operation on her heart weeks after she was born
Stephanie and Alec with their brave daughter who is celebrating her first birthday next month
Daisy was rushed into surgery where she was given an operation to rewire her struggling heart to allow it to function on its own.
Stephanie, who lives in Irvine, with partner Alex Davidson, 21, said: 'Just before Christmas she stopped feeding and going to the toilet because of an infection.
'She had been booked into surgery in January or February but doctors said because of her condition we needed to do it sooner.
Daisy is starting to take her first steps
'The doctors said she was too small for it because she only weighed nine pounds at that point but they did it anyway. The doctor said she was the smaller baby he had ever performed that operation on.
'We really thought that was it. We really thought she was going to die. I never want to go through anything like that again.'
Since the operation Daisy has gone from strength to strength and, though still on high calorie milk, is now learning to walk. She will celebrate her birthday, on September 27, surrounded by family and friends.
Throughout Daisy’s ordeal the family have been supported by the Little Hearts Matter charity, which supports families of children with heart conditions.
Stephanie said: 'A lot of people are unaware of how serious heart conditions can be in children and we really want to make people aware of what we go through as a family.
'When Daisy was diagnosed I felt so alone. I didn’t know what to do.
'But I want people to know that a diagnosis like that isn’t a death sentence. There is hope and a lot of support out there.'
Tricuspid atresia is a condition that caused the heart to develop abnormalities. The defect blocks blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle and as a result blood cannot flow into the lungs properly.