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Smallest baby in Britain to undergo open heart surgery celebrates her first birthdayWeighing just 3lb 5oz, Eleana Hasting, needed life-saving surgeryShe has spent 130 days in intensive care during her first 12 months
'This year has been an emotional rollercoaster', say parents
A little girl, who underwent life-saving surgery aged nine days old, is today celebrating her first birthday.
Weighing just 3lb 5oz, Eleana Hasting, was the smallest baby in Britain to have open heart surgery.
She arrived six weeks prematurely with a missing valve, a hole between two chambers of her heart and dilated pulmonary arteries.
Eleana Hasting, who underwent life-saving surgery aged nine days old, is today celebrating her first birthday
Doctors detected that something was wrong during a routine scan just 22 weeks into the pregnancy and since birth she has had three operations and spent 130 days in intensive care.
But now parents Francesca and Darren, who describe the past year as an 'emotional rollercoaster', have decorated a ward Birmingham Children’s Hospital to celebrate their child's first birthday.
Mother Francesca, 36, said: 'This year has been an emotional rollercoaster. Eleana has not left intensive care for 130 days.
'The downs are real lows but the highs are euphoric. It’s wonderful to see Eleana rolling about smiling.'
Eleana Hastings with parents Francesca and Darrren
and brothers Jamie, 11, and Alfie, 2, and sister Imogen, 8,
Eleana arrived on January 13, 2011, and was put on a ventilator because her inflamed arteries were compressing her airways. Her tiny body struggled to maintain oxygen levels, and surgery was the only option.
After nine days in intensive care,
Eleana was transferred from University Hospital Coventry and
Warwickshire to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where leading cardiac surgeon Mr William Brawn performed a four-hour procedure
to close the hole in her heart and reconstruct her lung arteries.
Just ten weeks later, and aged only three months, she had to undergo a second major open heart operation to enlarge the way into her lung arteries and reconstruct the still large lung arteries.
Her parents hoped she would be discharged from hospital last July, but she was rushed back into hospital scarcely two weeks later.
The downs are real lows but the highs are euphoric. It’s wonderful to see Eleana rolling about smiling.
Since then she has suffered a heart attack, needed a third heart operation and spent Christmas on a life support machine.
She has spent just 16 days at home
with her family in Cheylesmore, Coventry and her hospital bedside has
been transformed into a living room to accommodate her two brothers,
Jamie, 11, and Alfie, two, and sister Imogen, eight.
parents have been forced to put their lives on hold and Francesca lives
at Ronald McDonald House, a charity centre next to the hospital, so she
can spend maximum time on the ward.
Darren who works as a courier during the week joins the family at the hospital over the weekend.
added: 'The doctors say by the time Eleana is four or five there is no
reason why she should be any different to the other children running
around the playground. That keeps us going.'
parents are ardent supporters of the hospital’s heart appeal, which
aims to raise 2 million to build the UK’s first hybrid theatre for
critically ill children.
To support ‘Please Don’t Stop’, the final stage of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Heart Appeal, visit http://www.bch.org.uk
Eleana was put on a ventilator because her inflamed arteries were compressing her airways