Tiny baby survives terrifying open heart surgery years after mum's own miracle – Chronicle Live

Would-be midwife Megan Ramsey thought she was just being an ‘anxious mum’, but baby Aurelia had a terrifying heart condition
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A North Shields family are breathing a sigh of relief after a terrifying July which saw seven-month-old baby Aurelia undergo complex heart surgery and spend more than a week sedated after she was diagnosed with a rare life-threatening heart condition.
Mum Megan Ramsey, 29, was devastated when her "mother's intuition" proved correct and Aurelia – who is an identical twin – became more and more ill with a condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. Aurelia was diagnosed with a heart murmur soon after her birth, but medics did not see signs of any further medical issues.
Open-heart surgery at the Freeman Hospital – carried out by Fabrizio De Rita – has saved her life. In a remarkable coincidence, 23 years ago when Megan herself was just six she too saw her live saved my the cardiothoracic team at the Freeman. And she too spent time at the Freeman's ward 23.
Read more: Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Brie Larson and Mark Ruffalo send well wishes to Whitley Bay Marvel superfan recovering from open-heart surgery
Over the first few months of Aurelia's life, Megan and partner David Robinson couldn't help but compare her to twin sister Beatrix, and found Aurelia was more sickly, smaller and seemed unwell. Megan said: "She was always the smaller baby, and a little bit grey and a bit sickly. It was hard not to compare her to her sister – but they were clearly not too concerned as she would have been seen faster.
"She was supposed to have her outpatient appointment on the Friday, and we went into A&E on the Tuesday. She was having these spells going blue and she just looked awful. The episodes were becoming more and more frequent. I used to be a healthcare assistant on the RVI maternity ward. I want to be a midwife. Doing that you'd hear things and sometimes it'd just stick in mind. So I had heard about the condition she has. It was just somewhere in my brain."
The family rushed Aurelia to A&E on July 5. "On that Tuesday in July she was just so lethargic, she couldn't keep her head up," she said. "I thought I couldn't wait any longer. As soon as we got to the RVI they knew something was wrong. We couldn't even sit down.
"We were taken into a room and there must have been about 15 doctors from different departments around her bed. They put her on oxygen then they had to put her on high-flow oxygen. They said we think we need to transfer her to the Freeman and this is what's going to have to happen."
Megan told ChronicleLive the hours after being rushed from the RVI to the Freeman were "scary and overwhelming". She added: "They sat me down in the way you think they are about to break bad news and said she had TOF and to be honest I breathed a sigh of relief. I just knew. I had been telling that was what I thought."
After more than a week in intensive care and a number of scary moments – Aurelia was transferred to ward 23 at the hospital. Remarkably, some of the staff there were around more than two decades ago when Megan herself was a patient.
Megan added: "And the reason there's more to it than this is that when I was a child I spent three weeks on ward 23. And the surgeon who saved my life back then Asif Hasan was there this month who operated on Seb [Hollingsworth]. When I was a child he saved my life.
"I was six and somehow I picked up TB. It was discovered very late and really it's a miracle I was still alive, and now Aurelia is the same. Now she doesn't stop smiling, she's lively. We know she has TOF and that's a lifelong condition and her life will be different. All our lives will be different – but she's doing really well."
The family are now planning to fundraise to support the Children's Heart Unit Fund and staff at the Freeman who have supported them through horrendous times.
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