Sunderland tot to get life-saving heart op

Three-year-old Bronya Tench with mum Stacie, 26 and brother Michael, six.
Three-year-old Bronya Tench with mum Stacie, 26 and brother Michael, six.
Have your say

BATTLING Bronya Tench is set to undergo an operation to change her young life.

Surgeons are preparing to connect a blood vessel to the three-year-old’s heart in a desperate bid to give her new hope.

During her short life, Bronya, of Red House, Sunderland, has had three major heart operations and countless blood transfusions. But the next one is the biggest she and her family have had to face.

Mum Stacey said: “If this one doesn’t go the way they plan then Bronya will face having to have a heart transplant.”

Just days ago, Stacey, 26, signed the consent form giving doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital permission to carry out the complex procedure.

She added: “Now we just have to wait for a slot for the operation, it could come at anytime so our bags are packed.”

Doctors first detected something was wrong when Stacey had her four-month scan.

The mum was induced a week early at the RVI in Newcastle so that Bronya could have an operation at the nearby Freeman.

But when she was born on June 9 2009, doctors said the youngster would have to wait until later that year to have the operation. At 50 days old, Bronya took a turn for the worse and started turning blue.

She was rushed into Sunderland Royal Hospital before quickly being transferred to the Freeman.

An operation to fit a shunt into her heart was carried out but then, after Bronya suddenly stopped breathing, she was rushed back into surgery to have a balloon put in to open the hole in her heart.

Another operation to remove fluid around her heart followed.

During all of this Stacey kept a bedside vigil, determined to stay strong for her daughter, despite still grieving for the loss of her own brother, Michael, who was just 18 when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq during 2007.

Throughout her life Bronya has had to be fed through a tube, first fitted through her nose, and later attached to her stomach.

Stacey, who is also mum to Michael, six, and Ellie, seven, added: “I’m caring for her 24-hours-a-day. She is fed via the tube through the night and has her medication during the day but she never gives up.”

l Comment – Page 3