Meet SuperTed, the brave little boy with a serious heart defect who's battling to stay alive
Ted Rourke has defect that stops oxygen being pumped around his bodySix-month-old has already survived two bouts of major surgery
Now being kept alive by a heart bypass
and a feeding machineHis bravery has earned him the nickname SuperTed, after cartoon character
18:28 GMT, 6 February 2013
21:19 GMT, 6 February 2013
The parents of a baby boy with a killer heart defect have spoken of his gruelling battle to stay alive.
Six-month-old Ted Rourke has a complex heart problem which stops oxygen being pumped around his body.
The six-month-old from Macclesfield has survived two bouts of major surgery and is kept alive by a heart bypass and a feeding machine.
Six-month-old Ted Rourke, with brother Milo, has already survived two bouts of major surgery and is kept alive by a heart bypass and a feeding machine
Ted has Tetralogy of Fallot, a complex heart problem which stops oxygen being pumped around his body
Despite the pain and discomfort, Ted continues to boost the spirits of his parents Sian, 31, and Nathan, 36, and big brother Milo, three, with his infectious smile.
His bravery has earned him the nickname 'SuperTed' after the cartoon teddy bear.
Ted's condition, known as Tetralogy of Fallot, means his only chance of long-term survival is more surgery, but doctors can only do that when his heart has developed further and is strong enough.
His mother Sian, 31, arts officer for the local council, said: 'It's like living with a ticking timebomb. Without the operation, Ted will die.
'But the only way to tell he is ready for it is for the heart bypass to fail and put him close to death once again.
'Doctors say this is likely to happen by the end of the year, so we have an agonising wait.'
Ted was born at Macclesfield Hospital on July 6 weighing a healthy 9lb 3oz.
But checks revealed he had a heart murmur and after further tests, Ted was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot.
Ted with his mother Sian, father Nathan and brother Milo. They have nicknamed him 'SuperTed' after the cartoon teddy bear because of his bravery
Ted's only chance of long-term survival is more surgery, but doctors can only do that when the tot's heart has developed further and is strong enough
The condition, which affects about one in 3,000 babies, means a child will not live beyond their early teens without corrective surgery.
Within weeks of the diagnosis, Ted's condition deteriorated rapidly and he was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool for specialist care.
He had emergency surgery when he was just five weeks old, where doctors fitted a heart bypass.
But that trauma stopped Ted from eating and doctors decided on more surgery to fit a feeding tube.
Ted spent two months in hospital
while his mum lived in Ronald McDonald House, which allows families to
stay near to the hospital ward.
Rourke said: 'Our lives have been on hold for the last six months and
it's been very tough on our family. We've been buoyed by the support of
our parents and friends, and medical staff in Liverpool and
His mother Sian said: 'It's like living with a ticking timebomb. Without the operation, Ted will die'
'But our biggest help has been Milo, he has kept us motivated and smiling. He's a great distraction and very loving to his little brother.'
Ted's forthcoming surgery is just the start of his battle for a normal life.
His mother added: 'Ted's development has been affected. He is very tired all the time because of the strain on his heart. Just rolling over is the equivalent of me running a marathon.
'As he grows his heart will change and he could face even more surgery, but we are optimistic he can have a fairly normal life once he stops growing.
'He's proved to us he's a little battler, our SuperTed, so we are hoping and praying he keeps fighting.'