Doomed daughter recovers from life-saving operation


A COUPLE who refused to believe doctors telling them their baby daughter was going to die are looking forward to taking her home after two life-saving operations.

Graeme and Kerry Healey were told baby Millie was too weak for surgery after being born on May 31 weighing just 4lbs 15oz and suffering from acute heart problems.

But desperate parents Graeme, 41, and Kelly, 38, rushed her to another hospital for a second opinion and their little girl is now on the mend after two ops to her heart.

Graeme, from Coney Hill, Gloucester, said yesterday: “To go from being told your child has no chance at all of survival to being where we are now is nothing short of a miracle.

“We are so grateful. If it was not for the hospital staff we wouldn’t have our little girl. We’d be getting over a funeral instead.”

Problems during Kerry’s pregnancy forced medics at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to induce Millie’s birth four weeks early and doctors diagnosed a condition called cyanotic univentricular heart, which meant her heart arteries and both ventricles were formed back to front.

Millie was transferred to Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, where tests revealed the full extent of the problems and doctors said they could not treat her.

But rejecting advice that all that could be done was to make their daughter comfortable, Graeme and Kerry refused to give up hope and turned to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for help.

There, surgeons carried out a four-hour procedure to stabilise Millie’s condition, giving her the chance to grow.

Five weeks later she had a second operation – the first stage of fixing her defective right ventricle – during which medics also strengthened her pulmonary artery and rebuilt part of her aorta.

And now, even though Millie will need more surgery in future, doctors hope she will be home by the end of summer.

Dad Graeme said: “That will be the perfect moment for us.”

The Evelina Children’s Hospital said yesterday: “We are delighted that Millie has had successful surgery. This was a very complex case and we are unable to comment further without the family’s permission.”

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