HEART op survivor Ruby Wright is coming home for Christmas.
The 20-month-old has given her parents the best possible present as they prepare to spend Christmas Day together.
Ruby had surgery at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, to repair the hole in her heart which has blighted her short life.
The successful procedure means the youngster, of Springwell, Sunderland, will be able to unwrap her presents tomorrow with mum Laura Robinson, dad Daniel Wright and big sister Millie, five.
Surgeons performed the complicated operation last week.
Ruby defied the odds by being in intensive care at the Children’s Heart Unit for just a few days before she was allowed home.
After enduring a very difficult year, the close-knit family are looking forward to celebrating the festive period together.
Laura, 28, said: “We thought we were going to lose her so to have her back home for Christmas is great.
“They’ve repaired the hole but she’s got to go back and have further treatment soon.
“Her blood is still thin so they’ll be running tests to keep an eye on her.”
Ruby was born with a ventricular septal defect, meaning she had a hole in the muscular partition between the two pumping chambers of her heart.
At just four weeks old, doctors performed open heart surgery at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to fit a pulmonary artery (PA) band to her heart.
Her health problems did not end there though with Ruby having to deal with bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis in the early months of her life.
She also had to have an ileosteomy to remove part of her intestine.
Ruby’s health problems have also hampered her growth, and following her operation she still weighs much less than a girl of her age should be.
And although her operation has proved successful, the youngster’s family will be anxiously waiting to see how she progressing over the next few weeks.
“It’s gone well but we are not out of the woods yet,” added Laura, who works at Lush tanning studio, in Hylton Road.
“We haven’t weighed her yet but she has been eating a lot more.
“She seems to have got her appetite back.”
The family are so thankful for the work that the Heart Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital have done for Ruby that Daniel, who works for Interlink Scaffolding Ltd (ISL), completed a coast-to-coast bike ride to raise funds for the facility.
Daniel, 30, brother-in-law Billy Poole and friends Jason Carney and Scott Hutchinson completed the 140-mile journey with pal Richard Bell following them in a support vehicle and raised more than £1,200 for the unit.