BRAVE battler Marcus Greaves is finally back at home after three life-saving heart ops during his six months in the world.
Marcus has spent most of his young life attached to hospital machines as surgeons desperately tried to repair his damaged heart.
But after months of agony for his family, the youngster has finally been allowed to return home.
Mum Milly Macpherson, 20, said: “It has been a terrifying time. You would just keep thinking to yourself ‘when is this going to end’?”
When Milly and partner Kieron Greaves, 21, went for her 20-week scan, doctors became concerned that the couple’s unborn son may have been suffering a heart defect.
Tests indicated a hole in the heart and an issue with the baby’s artery.
“We were devastated,” said Milly, of Fence Houses. “When they tell you this type of thing, you just don’t know how you’ll cope.”
Born weighing 7lbs 11oz at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary at 5.55am on October 14 last year, Milly was allowed to hold her son for just 30 seconds before he was whisked away to the nearby Freeman Hospital for emergency treatment.
Tests on the baby’s heart revealed he was suffering from more complex problems and his tiny body was failing to get the required amount of oxygenated blood.
After six days in hospital, the family were allowed to take Marcus home but his condition began to deteriorate.
An operation to repair the heart using a shunt followed, leaving the baby in intensive care for two weeks. Milly, also mum to Robert, two, said: “Those were hard times. You would just watch him lying there wondering when he was going to get better.”
Medics were unhappy that Marcus’s heart rate was just 60 when it should have been 120. Finally, a decision was made to perform open heart surgery, even though the youngster was just four months old.
Milly and Kieron were both forced to take time out from their jobs to look after their poorly son, who also had to have a pacemaker fitted.
Finally, after months of heartbreak, the family were told they could take their son home.
“It’s been wonderful to have him back,” said Milly. “He smiles all the time now; it’s so different from the way he was.
“He’s catching up with everything, although he’s still a little bit behind on gaining weight.”
The family say they would not have been able to get by without the support of the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) based at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Milly added: “I only hope our story makes others aware of the make everyone aware of the fund.”
l Find out more or donate to the heart unit fund by visiting chuf.org.uk
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