LITTLE Ruby Wright is battling to lead a normal life as she recovers from a complicated procedure to repair a hole in her heart.
The youngster, who will turn two in April, had the procedure at the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle shortly before Christmas.
Ruby, of Somerset Road, Springwell, recently started to put on weight after the operation and is now 18lb.
She defied the odds to be home in time for Christmas from the hospital’s Children’s Heart Unit and the family rang in 2012 with the bright and plucky youngster on the mend.
Although the heart operation was deemed a complete success by doctors, Ruby still faces day-to-day problems with infections on her chest.
Mum Laura Robinson, 28, said today: “The doctors were over the moon with how the operation went, but Ruby has been having heart palpatations and other problems.
“That will stop once her heart grows a bit more.
“She still keeps getting infections, though, and has had loads of mucus on her lungs recently.”
Ruby was born with a ventricular septal defect, which meant she had a hole in the muscular partition in between the two chambers which pump blood to her heart.
A pulmonary artery band was fitted to her heart when she was just four weeks old, leaving Laura, dad Daniel Wright and sister Millie, five, wracked with worry.
But her health problems continued as Ruby suffered bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia throughout the first few months of her life.
It meant that she is much smaller than a typical girl of her age.
However, she is now enjoying being back with her friends at Little Angels Nursery, in Grindon.
“The staff there can’t believe what she’s been through when we tell them,” said Daniel, 30.
“They see her running about and they are shocked.”