Video: Taverham girl makes remarkable recovery after major heart surgery
10:53 19 April 2014
A toddler has made a remarkable recovery after undergoing open heart surgery within hours of being born - and her parents have been told there is only a “very slim” chance of her ever needing an operation again.
Felicity Carrigan’s parents Louise Daynes, 23, and Joshua Carrigan, 24, were given the fantastic news at a hospital check-up and her fightback has been beyond their wildest dreams.
Ms Daynes said that Felicity was now a “fighting fit two-year-old”, and she has vowed to continue her fundraising for the Great Ormond Street Hospital children’s charity, in thanks for saving her daughter’s life.
Ms Daynes, from Riverdene Mews, Taverham, had been told that Felicity had a serious heart defect even before she was born.
She said: “At a routine 20-week scan where I was hoping to find out whether the baby I was carrying was a boy or a girl, unfortunately I was told she would not survive because it looked as though she had a serious heart defect, which simply meant she would not survive after birth.
“The doctor advised me to have an abortion. He referred me to Great Ormond Street Hospital where my baby was diagnosed with a co-arctation of the aorta, which would mean she would have an undersized heart and her life would shorten significantly.
“One day after she was born, the team at Great Ormond Street gave Felicity open heart surgery and a blood transfusion.
“Joshua and I were in hospital for two weeks until Felicity was able to come home.
“During this time, the hospital provided us with accommodation nearby so that we could visit Felicity and I was provided with food vouchers.”
But at a follow-up appointment, the couple were told the operation had not worked, and Felicity had to undergo more life-threatening surgery at five months.
Ms Daynes added: “Thankfully, the last operation worked and at a hospital check-up last week, we were told that the likelihood of Felicity needing surgery again was very slim, which is great news.
“Without the help and support of Great Ormond Street Felicity would not be here today. I cannot thank them enough for keeping my little girl with me.”
Ms Daynes started raising money for the hospital’s children’s charity less than a year after her daughter was born in September 2011.
In June 2012 she and her friend Katie Garbutt took part in the RBC Race for the Kids event in London.
Ms Daynes, who works as a legal assistant at Cozens-Hardy LLP in Norwich, said: “I have now traded in my pageant/modelling shoes and will be cycling about 100 miles around the island of Ibiza on May 3-4 to fundraise for the charity.
“I have managed to raise an additional £1,300 to the monies previously raised for Great Ormond Street, and the total now is almost £5,000. My target for the Ibiza cycle ride is to raise £1500, so any additional support from readers of the EDP/Evening News would be fantastic.”
Mr Carrigan is also taking part with several other friends in the Rat Race, a 20-mile, 200 obstacle assault course, including the world’s longest monkey bars, to raise money for the charity on May 10.
Visit www.justgiving.com/LouDaynes/2 and www.justgiving.com/norfolk-kenyans
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