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.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Day 9 - Second post-birth operation

We had a lovely morning of cuddles with Jessica as we prepared for her surgery. She was wide awake and really looking at us both which made for some very precious moments.

One of the hospital chaplains came in to pray with us about the surgery as we waited for the anaesthetist to arrive and take Jessica upstairs to theatres. Jessica was quite settled as we waited – it was mummy and daddy who were quite anxious about it all.

We were told to expect not to hear anything for at least a couple of hours. Louise had a bit of a heart-stopping moment when her phone rang with what was clearly a hospital phone number just over an hour after Jessica had gone upstairs – thankfully, it turned out to be one of the midwives from Princess Anne Hospital checking to see if she was okay.

After a few hours, we finally had the call we were waiting for – Jessica had got through her surgery and was fine. The cardiologist came to talk to us whilst Jessica was being transferred from theatres back to PICU – they had managed to put a stent into the ductus arteriosus and had injected a contrast dye into the arteries to check that there weren’t any obstructions to the blood flow in the lung, which thankfully there weren’t. Jessica would need to be on a couple of drugs to help stop clots forming in the stent and then if she recovered well and was suitable, the next operation would be a combination of the Norwood and Glenn procedures and would be done in a few months’ time.

It was such a relief to see Jessica when we were finally able to go back to PICU and be with her. She was quite sedated and back on the ventilator but within a few hours was able to go back on to CPAP and we are anticipating that we will be transferred up to Ocean Ward in the next few days.

Thank you so much to everyone for all your thoughts and prayers – we are so thankful to have got through this next stage on the journey and have been so blessed with all the support we have received from so many people. It really helps to know that you are all behind us and that we are not on this journey alone.


  1. Wonderful news..Another day of small miracles... and the one at the centre seems totally unaware of just how many people have been focussing on her precious life.May you all continue to be aware of how much love surrounds you.

  2. continuing to pray for all 3 of you
    love Carlton

  3. Amazing news. She is doing so well. Bless her.

  4. God bless you guys!! Though I do not know the the two of you personally I am feeling so much empathy with you as I am trained to be a midwife in Germany...
    Love Sophia Kozlowski

  5. She's such a beautiful little sausage, and such a fighter. Much love and healing hugs. Jayne (Max's friend) xxx