BRAVE: Emily Grace Wilson is all smiles recovering from heart surgery (above and right), and (left) pictured after her operation.
BRAVE: Emily Grace Wilson is all smiles recovering from heart surgery (above and right), and (left) pictured after her operation. Contributed

Bub shows real ticker

EMILY Grace Wilson was two days old when she had her first surgery on her heart in a Sydney hospital.

With her mum Kelly and dad Paul by her side, their little girl underwent an operation to place a stent in her heart, the first of many operations she will need as she grows after being diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

The congenital defect means the left ventricle of the heart is severely underdeveloped.

Emily is now one month old, but it will be a further three months before she can leave hospital and go home with her mum and dad.

Kelly, who grew up in Hervey Bay, said she and Paul found out about their daughter's condition when she was 19 weeks into her pregnancy.

After the initial shock, the couple had a few weeks to decide what they would do.

"We were a little bit devastated," Kelly said.

"We decided that God would take care of it."

Throughout her pregnancy the couple made a concerted effort to carry on as normal and keep a positive attitude.

After Emily was born the couple did not get to have a first cuddle with their daughter until she was eight days old.

Kelly says it is hard to watch her daughter undergo constant treatments, including blood tests.

"But she has been doing so well," Kelly said. "We're so proud of her."

A big milestone for the family was coming back to Brisbane Royal and Children's Hospital after her treatment in Sydney.

They are now able to take their daughter as far as the hospital cafe while they have a bite to eat.

Kelly said her family and friends on the Fraser Coast had been very supportive of her family.

Their faith had also got the couple through the difficult times.

"We did a lot of praying," she said.

Doctors have warned the couple that only about 70% of babies with Emily's condition make it to the age of one.

"We think she will be one of them," Kelly said.

"She's doing really well."

HEART DEFECTS

  • Most congenital heart defects have no known cause
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is among the most severe forms of heart defect
  • In Australia, six babies are born every day with heart defects - about 2190 every year


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