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“When I was told my tiny, six-month-old baby needed open-heart surgery. It was a huge shock, I don’t remember feeling much. We’d just been on holiday. I wondered – how on earth did we not know something was wrong.
When I look back now, I don’t know if Bella would be here, were it not for the Children’s Air Ambulance.
Their helicopter costs a lot to run, but they are worth every penny.”
Little Bella was on holiday when her parents noticed she wasn’t herself – sometimes becoming listless and running a fever. She was taken to hospital for tests and diagnosed with a heart problem that meant one whole side of her heart was not working properly. Bella needed urgent open-heart surgery and this needed to take place at Leeds General Infirmary; a trip of 150 miles by road.
Our helicopter was able to fly her in 57 minutes, a trip that took nearly four hours by road for her family.
Bella was in surgery for six hours; an hour for every month of her life. Her recovery was initially slow but she has grown into a independent little girl and will be three years old in November 2015.
Please donate today and give what you can to help Bella and others in their hour of need.
Find out more about Bella’s story or keep reading to learn more about her condition.
The veins draining oxygenated blood from Bella’s lungs back to the left side of the heart were not plumbed in correctly. When we met her, she was blue and needed an urgent operation to correct the defect. This is one of the most time critical congenital (due to abnormal development before birth) heart conditions. Only specialist paediatric cardiac surgical centres can perform these highly complex operations.
With your support, we’ll be proud to see more little patients like these grow up.