Miracle baby home for Christmas after becoming smallest person to have pioneering open heart surgery op
Daisie Downie was born six weeks premature with a rare condition that prevented blood from going to her lungs directly from her heart
A newborn baby has miraculously beaten the odds to make it home for her first Christmas after becoming the smallest person to ever undergo a pioneering open heart surgery procedure.
Daisie Downie needed the life-saving operation after she was born six weeks premature with a rare condition that prevented blood from going to her lungs directly from her heart.
Weighing just 5lbs 2oz, she was far too small for surgeons to operate on so a team of medics began a battle to keep her alive.
Survivor: Daisie Downie underwent a life-saving operation at Southampton General Hospital after she was born six weeks premature with a rare condition that prevented blood from going to her lungs directly from her heart
The longer Daisie had a chance to grow, the better her chance of surviving corrective surgery normally performed on a six- to nine-month-old.
But at just three weeks old her condition became critical and doctors at Southampton General Hospital could delay no longer.
Shebecame the smallest baby to have a revolutionary procedure to repair a hole in her heart and a blocked valve during six hours on the operating table.
Daisie”s mother Deliah Downie, 34, is overjoyed her miracle baby is doing so well she made it home in time for Christmas.
Shesaid: “Daisie is my own Christmas miracle. She was so tiny and so critically ill there were times when I feared she would never make it.
“To have her home for a family Christmas and for her to be doing so well is the only present I could have wished for.”
MrsDownie and her husband Kev, 38, from Whiteley, Hampshire, first learnedthere was a problem with their baby”s heart when they went for a 20-week scan.
Overjoyed: Daisie”s mother Deliah Downie, 34, is looking forward to spending Christmas with her miracle baby
The couple, who also have two sons – George, six, and Harrison, three – weretold the baby had a hole in her heart and a narrowing of the arteries.
At 34 weeks, a consultant cardiologist found the artery was not just narrow, but completely blocked.
But he estimated Daisie would be 10lbs by the time she was full-term and big enough for them to operate on.
Twodays later however, Mrs Downie suddenly went into labour and Daisie arrived six weeks premature on October 29 weighing only a little over 5lbs.
She went from intensive care to a cardiac ward where she was put on medication to keep her alive.
Mrs Downie said: “The plan was to keep her stable and give her time to grow as much as possible.”
Medics decided that when she reached 6lbs 6oz, Daisie would have a shunt to open up her artery.
“Apart from a small scar on her chest, you can”t tell she has been through such major work”
Until she hit that weight, her body would be too tiny to accommodate the smallest tube available.
Thistube would temporarily repair her heart and be left in place until she was at least six months old and big enough to have further surgery to completely repair her heart.
Butat three weeks the medication keeping her alive stopped working so doctors decided they had to operate immediately to save her life, despite the fact she was still only 5lbs 3oz.
Aftersix hours in surgery, surgeon Markku Kaarne told Mrs Downie he had managed to fully repair her heart by fixing her valve and closing the hole in a single operation.
MrsDownie said: “I couldn”t believe they had done it. They had been telling me she was far too small for this surgery but they managed it.
“Apart from a small scar on her chest, you can”t tell she has been through such major work.”
Dr Kevin Roman, consultantcardiologist at Southampton General Hospital, said: “Daisie had a pulmonary valve which was blocked and had a large hole between the two pumping chambers of the heart. There was no way for the blood to get to the lungs.
“She is the smallest baby we have ever had for this type of repair in the heart.
“The vast majority of children who have this operation are six to nine months old and consequently much bigger.
“Even a baby twice her size would have been very sick in intensive care afterwards.
“Ina tiny premature baby, things were much more difficult. It was a great team effort and we”re all delighted she made it home in time for Christmas.”