A Crowborough family is showing its support for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as a way of saying thank-you for their ‘miracle baby.’
The Hook family hosts a bake sale and red-themed coffee morning at the town’s BHF shop today.
Their son, James, has a condition called hypoplastic left heart.
James’s heart stopped as he was being born and doctors had to give him CPR in the first moments of his life.
He had been born with a serious condition sometimes described as having half a heart. When he was just 36 hours old, he had to have open-heart surgery – the first of three major operations to replumb his heart.
James’s mum, Jane Hook, said: “The problem with James’s heart was picked up at my routine, 20-week scan. It was a really big shock.
“It was really hard as I didn’t know whether he would survive – I didn’t know if we were going to come out of hospital with a baby or not. His heart completely stopped while I was in labour. They had to do CPR on him the moment he was born and then he was ventilated. So I didn’t even see James until the next morning in paediatric cardiac intensive care. They stabilised him and decided he could go for open-heart surgery at 36 hours old. It was the start of three-part surgery, over three years.
“At 11 weeks they decided they would have to operate again and he had a stroke. We were told it was very serious and they didn’t know if he would pull through. Eventually he was well enough to go back on the ward, and we got him home when he was 15 weeks old. After the stroke they said he wouldn’t be able to walk, talk or see. But he had speech therapy and occupational therapy and he did start walking and talking. He is full of beans and a great little personality. He is an incredible fighter. He is a little miracle.
“We are hoping to raise £500 for the BHF helping them to fund the research so urgently needed to fight heart disease. It’s been incredibly easy to co-ordinate and promises to be fun for all involved.”
Louise Parkes, Fundraising Director at the BHF, said: “The BHF is the biggest funder of life-saving heart research.” She added: “We offer our heartfelt thanks to the Hook family for so generously dedicating their time and energy to help us continue our fight for every heartbeat.”