GENTLY cradling her tiny miracle, mum Fay Murrish today told how little Chanel’s fight for survival starts now.
Chanel was still in her mother’s womb in the early stages of pregnancy when doctors discovered she has hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning only half of her heart works.
Fay and husband Micheal, from Seaham, were then dealt a further blow when they were told a drug usually given to babies with the condition to help them survive would not work.
Chanel was delivered by caesarian section at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital on February 27 and rushed straight into theatre for an operation to keep her heart going – the youngest ever patient to have that procedure.
At a week old she had a second operation – which was not due to be carried out until she was a month old – as doctors continued to give her the best chance they could to survive.
Fay, 24, said: “Her prognosis was much less than usual hypoplastic babies because of her intact septum, and I knew there was a high risk we could lose her straight after birth.
“It was originally planned for Chanel to have surgery when she was around 20 minutes old, but when they cut her cord she turned so blue and her cry turned to a gasp.
“They didn’t even have time to weigh her, she was that poorly, and immediately rushed her next door for her surgery.
“Although Chanel has kept surprising everyone with how much fight she has got in her and surgeries have both been a success, she is still very sick and on life support but she is going steady and we just know she is going to continue surprising everyone.
“As much as we thought we had prepared ourselves for everything, we definitely hadn’t.
“It is indescribable how it feels to see your baby lying in front of you paralysed and sedated and have to go through the most major surgeries so small, but you have to stay focused on the good times ahead.
“She is proving like we said she would be, to be our miracle baby.” Fay and Micheal, 27, already parents to Chase, three, and Cole, 21 months, are staying in a flat in the grounds of the hospital and as they juggle the demands of everyday life.
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 added: “One of us are staying there at all times and the other at home caring for our two young sons.
“We are swapping every other day ensuring our boys lives are not interrupted and one of us is by Chanel’s side at all times.”
Fay is keeping people up-to-date with Chanel’s progress via www.facebook.com/ChanelMurrishHLHS.