A baby who was born with only half a heart has beaten the odds and survived a stroke and nine surgeries, including four open-heart operations.
Jack Stevens was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), meaning that the left side of his heart had not formed properly.
Jack, from Hartlepool, County Durham, U.K., has spent half of his short life in hospital where he has received four open-heart surgeries and five other operations. Furthermore, Jack has suffered a stroke and has had to be resuscitated three times.
1. Jack Stevens, now 15 months, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) which means the left side of his heart did not form properly. He underwent four open-heart surgeries when he was just one week old.
Jack has made a miraculous recovery and has had his feeding tube removed for the first time. At 15-months-old, the baby is now at home with his parents.
Jack’s father Chris Stevens, said:
He’s been through so much in such a short space of time but he’s doing brilliantly.
We knew about his condition before he was born and he spent the first five months of his life in hospital.
2. Jack survived a total of nine operations (he is pictured, left, after the last procedure), but then suffered a stroke and had to be resuscitated three times. He is now at home with his parents (right).
He had to have open heart surgery when he was just one-week-old and he’s had three more since.
Jack was only 4lbs 4oz when he was born and the condition has slowed his development.
It was really difficult watching him lying in his hospital bed for so long surrounded by machines and tubes.
But we knew it was best for him and he’s battled through everything — he’s a real fighter.
3. Jack recovered well from the operations and has recently had his feeding tube removed for the first time. He is pictured here before his third open-heart surgery.
When he was just one-week-old, Jack underwent three stages of the Norwood procedure — a surgery on the heart to improve the blood flow.
The boy was then allowed home for the first time in April of last year but had to return back to Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, just three months later after suffering a stroke.
Jack then had a string of grueling surgeries, before he finally returned home with father Chris, and mother, Ashton Hodge, a charity worker.
The child is now on the brink of taking his first steps and he is speaking for the first time.
4. Jack is now at home with his parents Chris Stevens, 30 and Ashton Hodge, 27. The family are pictured before Jack’s fourth open-heart surgery.
Chris, an engineer, said:
It’s a lifelong condition so he will need a transplant at some point in his life but surgeons don’t know when yet.
He’ll never be able to do any real physical activity.
Jack had to be given up to 12 different medications up to four times a day but he only needs three different medications via a syringe at the moment.
He’s also had his feeding tube removed for the very first time last month which is fantastic.
He’s almost walking now and he mumbles all the time so hopefully he’ll say his first word soon.
We’re both so proud of him – he’s a very inspirational boy.
5. Jack only weighed 4lbs 4oz when he was born, and the heart condition has slowed his development.
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a condition that causes the heart’s left lower pumping chamber to not develop properly which makes it much smaller than usual.
The mitral valve between the heart’s left ventricle and the upper left filling chamber is often closed or very small.
Furthermore, the aorta — the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body — is also underdeveloped and smaller than usual.
All this means that the heart cannot pump blood around the body effectively.
6. Mr. Stevens, an engineer, said: “It’s a lifelong condition so he will need a transplant at some point in his life but surgeons don’t know when yet”
Source: The Daily Mail.
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