'We never lost hope' - 'Miracle' newborn defies odds and survives 8-HOUR emergency heart surgery
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Kayley Newbold and Gary Clark were the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl they named Honey-Rose. Then they realized their bundle of joy wasn't going to survive the day.
Doctors were able to save little Honey-Rose (Grimsby Telegraph).
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While still in the womb, Honey-Rose was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a severe congenital heart defect that results in a heart not fully developing properly.
Doctors warned the child might not survive to full term, and if she did, she would require immediate surgery. Even if surgery was successful, she would not enjoy a life span half as long as the average person.
Frightened but refusing to give up, Newbold and Clark decided to keep Honey-Rose and do their best to ensure she enjoyed a happy, healthy life.
When Honey-Rose was born on December 19, doctors worried she wasn't strong enough to survive the 8-hour surgery.
Newbold recalled: "When she was born they told us that she might only have a few hours to life. She had a scan after the birth and the results weren't good. So we were told that if they did operate then there was only a slim chance of survival.
"So we came home and brought her to St. Andrew's for end of life care. Whilst we were there she was very poorly but started feeding. It didn't look like she was dying. We really struggled to come to terms with the fact that we were going to lose her. But we never lost hope."
While the heartbroken parents attempted to spend what time they could with their daughter, they decided to make a call and get a second opinion.
Newbold refused to abort the child growing in her womb but admitted: "I didn't want them to operate at first but as soon as I had her in my arms I wanted to do all that I could to help her."
Dr. Jamie Bentham offered hope and agreed to attempt to save Honey-Rose at a Leeds hospital.
"it went from being the worst Christmas ever to the best Christmas ever in just a matter of days," Newbold explained. "It was extremely emotional. Everyone had come to St. Andrew's to say their goodbyes and we thought that was it really.
"We are just so happy that we made the call. The surgeons are absolutely amazing and we couldn't thank them enough."
The surgery began when Honey-Rose was only a week old and her tiny body survived the procedure.
"That wait whilst they were operating felt like a lifetime and when I was told it was successful I just couldn't breathe or speak," Newbold recalled. "Then we knew it was all worth it."
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Newbold and Clark's friends and family continue to hold faith for Honey-Rose, standing firm in their belief she will live a healthy life, no matter how short it is.
Only two in every 10,000 children are affected by hypoplastic left heart syndrome, but Honey-Rose's second cousin, Reggie Aslin, also suffered the same condition.
Honey-Rose and her second cousin, Reggie, share the same condition (Grimsby Telegraph).
Reggie also survived surgery and the two share the same scars on their chests.
When Reggie survived, the couple knew Honey-Rose had a chance. Reggie's surgery was so successful, he survived to five-months-old in good health.
Clark admitted he and Newbold are aware Honey-Rose will probably not live to reach 20-years-old but they are determined to create as many memories with her as possible.
"Some days we both feel like crying and some days are ok," he explained. "When we look at her she's so beautiful and we are just trying to enjoy her. It's always in the back on my mind but we don't want to think about it.
"We are looking forward to settling down into family life because we never thought that this day would come. We will just take each day as it comes now."
Today, Honey-Rose continues to fight for her life.
She was finally allowed to return home with her parents at eight-weeks-old and is the recipient of much love.
Clark's cousin, Andrew Deakins, set up a charity soccer match to raise money for the Leeds unit that carries out children's heart surgery.
It will take place at the Bradley Football Development Centre in Grimsby Road, Laceby on July 30 at 1 p.m.
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