MIRACLE baby Chanel Murrish is home for the first time, after three months of fighting for her life in hospital.
And her mother Fay has spoken of her delight at the family finally being “complete”.
The Seaham tot has defied medics after being diagnosed with hypoplastic heart syndrome – which means only half her heart works – while still in Faye’s womb.
The youngster was delivered by Caesarian section at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital on February 27.
There were further complications because she didn’t respond to a drug usually given to help such babies survive, and was rushed straight into theatre for an operation to keep her heart going – becoming the youngest ever patient to have the procedure.
Another operation followed a week later because she could not manage without the help of a ventilator, and she has since had a further six procedures.
Now, Chanel has finally been discharged and is home from hospital.
Fay, who has two sons, Chase, four, and 23-month-old Cole, with Micheal, said: “I feel like my family is complete again now. For the past three months we have been living apart.”
The 24-year-old said her and Micheal, 27, have been like ships in the night.
Fay said: “If I was at hospital with Chanel, then my husband was at home with the boys or the other way around. The boys would come into the hospital like it was a second home. It has been tough for them.
“It is lovely for all five of us to be under the same roof.”
The mum-of-three said it was a fantastic feeling to be told Chanel could finally go home, but the family know there will be tough times ahead.
Chanel will have open heart surgery again at about six months old and then between three and five years old before eventually needing a heart transplant.
Fay said: “We just have to take one day at a time. Having Chanel has really put everything into perspective.
“Instead of saying we would like to do something, we just do it now. It is much more about living for the moment.
“She has surprised and amazed all medical professionals.
“One told us she is the biggest miracle he had ever come across in his career, and another that she thinks Chanel is possibly the youngest in the world, not just the UK, to undergo open heart surgery.
“Chanel is loving being home for first time, she has not stopped smiling.
“Her brothers love her and are enjoying constantly playing with her. We feel like our family is complete at last.”
Ahead of Chanel’s birth, family and friends raised £2,000 to support the Children’s Heart Unit (CHUF) at the Freeman, with new flats being built to offer extra space. Fay is keeping people up-to-date with Chanel’s progress via www.facebook.com/ChanelMurrishHLHS.