It’s all smiles now for the boy born with a hole in his heart

Three-year-old Kieran Short, who has recovered from a hole in the heart, and will be doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley Three-year-old Kieran Short, who has recovered from a hole in the heart, and will be doing a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
8:52 AM

Three-year-old Kieran Short has been in and out of hospital ever since he was born because of a hole in his heart.

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The CHF campaign

The Children’s Heart Federation is campaigning for the introduction of Pulse Oximetry screening for newborn babies in all hospitals across the UK. The Pulse Oximetry test uses an external monitor to check oxygen levels in the blood, to indicate proper heart function. Evidence shows that the test can be effective in detecting up to 75% of congenital heart conditions.

The hole was discovered when he was just 10 weeks old and left him needing two operations and he may need more in the future. But for now the youngster from Wheeler Road in Norwich is a happy, healthy toddler who, like many others of the same age, loves dinosaurs and trains.

Now Kieran’s family want to thank those who have helped them and in particular Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and the Children’s Heart Federation.

Kieran Short in hospitalKieran Short in hospital

They are going to take part in the Fairy Trails Walk, a two-and-a-quarter-mile charity walk around Blickling Hall, on March 29 to raise funds for Great Ormond Street.

Kieran’s mother, Michelle Ward, also wants to raise awarness of the Children’s Heart Federation and, in particular, its campaign to get a crucial heart test introduced in all UK hospitals which would identify heart defects at birth.

The family’s ordeal began when, at just 10 weeks old, a routine check revealed that Kieran had a heart murmur, the cause of which was found to be a ventricular septal defect – a hole in his heart.

His mum Michelle had been convinced something was wrong as Kieran wouldn’t feed.

Kieran’s treatment began with a series of appointments with a consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who visits the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on a monthly basis to spare parents and their children the journey to London.

As a result, Kieran underwent heart surgery at just one year old but feeding remained a problem inhibiting his recovery, and a feeding tube was fitted on two occasions. Follow-ing a second operation, Kieran’s condition started to improve.

During his treatment, Kieran, Michelle, and her partner James Short, spent three weeks at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“In the lead up to the operation he was on medication, and the procedure was really stressful, it put a real strain on our family,” said Michelle.

Now two years on, the whole family is “a lot happier and more relaxed” and, last December, Kieran began attending Nelson pre-school in Norwich. Unfortunately, Kieran still has a leaky heart valve, for which he may need further surgery in the future but, for now, it isn’t affecting his health.

Click here to sponsor Kieran and his family on their walk. You can also sign the Children’s Heart Federation’s petition here.

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