Parents’ thanks to hospital that kept Hope alive

Reporter:

Laura Jones

A MOTHER who was told her unborn baby had just a one per cent chance of survival is to hold an auction in honour of the hospital that helped to keep her alive.

Kerri McIntosh learned at her 20-week ante-natal scan that her and husband Kevin’s daughter had a complex heart defect.

Kerri said: “This was obviously a massive shock to both of us but we couldn’t possibly think about terminating if there was still that tiny chance.”

Their daughter, Hope, was born on August 26, 2008, at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and rushed to the special care baby unit.

Hope started on life-saving medication to keep the ducts open in her heart until an operation that week at the city’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Kerri said: “We were transferred to Alder Hey the next morning where the fight for Hope’s life began. Various scans, tests and X-rays were taken of Hope’s heart and lungs.

“The specialists were so shocked she’d survived the birth. However, they did tell us that with the severity of her condition she would be very unlikely to survive the surgery, but it was vital she had it to at least give her the chance.”

The family held a bedside vigil for Hope, who continued to battle against the odds.

“Hope continued to do well over the next few weeks,” said Kerri. “So much so that some medicines were stopped and the surgery was put on hold to monitor her and see how she coped at home.”

Kerri, 30, Kevin, 31, and Hope, were reunited at their home on Yowley Road, Ewloe in September, 2008.

Hope’s health took another dip, however, and she was rushed back to Alder Hey to have a feeding tube fitted. The couple said they lived life on a “knife edge” for months, with Hope undergoing a string of operations.

In December, 2008, their four-month-old baby endured eight hours of surgery to repair her heart. Half way through, further complications arose and Hope was found to have had high lung pressure.

Kerri said: “The surgeons also struggled to get Hope off the by-pass machines after her surgery, so it was very touch and go for the next few days.” But on Boxing Day, 2008, Hope was taken off the ventilator as she began to breathe on her own and on January 26, 2009, she returned home.

“Hope has been back and forward to Evelina Children’s Hospital in London for further tests on her lungs and has had numerous small operations back at Alder Hey,” said Kerri.

“We’ve been told that she will never be completely’ fixed’ as the damage that was caused in the first few weeks of life to her lungs is irreversible and there is more surgery to come, but for now our daughter is at home no longer needing the oxygen, enjoying life as every other two and a half year-old should be.”

The family are now fundraising for The Imagine Appeal at Alder Hey. “We can never thank them enough for they’ve done for our daughter and what they continue to do,” Kerri said.

The charity auction will take place on Friday, August 12 at The Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port.

To support the appeal or for more information, email Kerri at kezzamac@hotmail.co.uk

See full story in the Leader

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