Our beautiful daughter Jessica was born in September 2011 with a severe heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This was diagnosed at her 20 week scan and we were initially told that she was unlikely to be suitable for surgery. However, a pioneering in-utero operation at 28 weeks to enlarge a hole in her atrial septum was carried out and she was able to make it to term and get through her first open-heart surgery at just eight hours old. Jessica underwent five more surgeries during her life. Her final surgery - the Fontan procedure - took place in December 2017. She initially made a good recovery but sadly passed away suddenly on 14th April 2018 at the age of 6. This is the story of a little girl whose half a heart overflowed with love. She was, and will forever be, our little miracle and brought joy to all who knew her.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

13 May 2011 - Appointment at GOSH

Thank you all so much for your support and prayers over the past week or so. We had an appointment this afternoon at Great Ormond Street Hospital for another fetal heart scan and a discussion with the consultant. Sadly, we do not have happy news to share with you.

We have been told by the consultant that surgery is unlikely to be a realistic option. He has said that if he was carrying out the heart scan on a newborn and found the abnormalities that our baby has, then he would not be advising surgery as the chances of it succeeding are incredibly slim. The issue we have is with the smaller of the two holes in the heart, which is very tiny. If it was larger, there would be more hope, but because it is small, there are problems with increased pressure in the heart chamber where the blood flows from the lungs which is causing the walls of the veins to thicken and restrict flow from the lungs. This is what makes surgery unlikely to succeed as it relies on the low pressure of the veins being sufficent for blood to flow to the lungs and back. Unless a miracle happens and the heart situation improves drastically, we will be offered compassionate care for our little one after birth for however many days she will be with us.

We are both utterly devastated by today's news but will continue to pray for a miracle. In the meantime, we will be making the most of every precious moment that we have with our little girl in the coming weeks. We have decided to name her Jessica Charlotte - Jessica means 'God sees' and Charlotte means 'feminine' but can also mean 'strength'.

We will be having further heart scans at John Radcliffe to see how things progress but the outlook looks quite pessimistic at present.

Any prayers for baby Jessica and for strength for us as parents as we journey through the weeks ahead would be greatly appreciated.

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