A little girl’s life was saved after she bumped her head and doctors discovered she was suffering from a life-threatening heart condition.
The family of three-year-old Lidija Livesey found out the tot had two serious heart conditions while being assessed for a minor head knock earlier this year.
The youngster, who was two at the time, was taken to Borders General Hospital, Scottish Borders, by her worried mum Emma, 33.
But the family were left in shock when doctors informed them that Lidija was found to have a large defect in the heart wall.
The condition is known as a large sinus venous atrial septal defect and had to be repaired with a patch.
She also had a partial anomalous pulmonary venous return which meant the veins from her lungs were found to be entering the wrong heart chambers.
Mum Emma, from Galashiels, Borders, was told that if Lidija’s condition continued to go untreated that she would likely not survive past childhood.
She said: “In a matter of hours, we discovered our healthy, happy baby had a heart condition and that was the start of a series of appointments and investigative tests.
“Both conditions were serious and the consultant informed us that, if left untreated, Lidija would likely not survive past childhood.”
Thankfully Lidija is now on the mend following a successful surgery on July 1 at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
But she was also found to have bilateral superior caval veins which is a defect that could not be corrected and makes her a cardiac patient for life.
Emma said: “For two days Lidija underwent several tests.
“The surgeon met us and informed us that she also had bilateral superior caval veins, so rather than one superior caval vein, she had been born with two, a defect that could not be corrected.
“She will be a cardiac patient for life.
“Seeing Lidija in intensive care and later in the High Dependency Unit were the hardest few days of my life – nothing can prepare you for that time.”
Emma said she wanted to thank medical staff who helped save Lidija’s life and helped the family through a difficult time.
She added: “There were a couple of complications with Lidija’s recovery, however the care we received at the Royal Hospital for Children was incredible.
“It was a slow process getting back to normal however Lidija is doing fantastic since her
summer surgery. She has boundless energy.”
“She has been left with a beautifully neat scar across her chest, our reminder of how special she is.”
Lidija now attends school nursery class Balmoral Primary and is hitting all of her development milestones.
And as a result of the care her daughter received, Emma is lending her support to the Little Hearts Appeal at the Yorkhill Children’s Charity.
It is aiming to raise #150,000 by Christmas to fund the UK’s first 4D heart scanning equipment at the hospital.
With 35 children already being scanned by the cardiac team each day, the new equipment will further help doctors diagnose heart conditions and save even more lives.
Emma added: “I will always be thankful for the work that the staff do.”
Shona Cardle, chief executive, Yorkhill Children’s Charity, said: “Almost half of under-25’s in Scotland who die from cardiovascular-related issues are less than one year old.
“A heart defect is the most common problem a baby can be born with and we want to help families affected by this and give patients the best possible chance to win their battle.
“This state-of-the-art scanner will make a dramatic difference to the lives of patients at the Royal Hospital for Children.
“We work in partnership with the NHS – which is funding two additional scanners for the hospital – and deliver enhancements to the amazing service they deliver for young patients.”
Kirsten Sinclair, director of fundraising at Yorkhill Children’s Charity said: “The money raised throughout this year’s Christmas appeal will enable us to provide even more support to children, like Lidija, who have heart conditions.
“A heart defect is the most common problem a baby can be born with and we want to help families affected by this and give patients the best possible chance to win their battle.”