A mum whose daughter was born with a chronic heart condition is supporting a national fundraising campaign for the British Heart Foundation and urging others to do the same.
Joanne Wilde, of Thackley, and her husband Daniel found out there was a complication with daughter Chloe’s heart, at their 21-week scan.
“They discovered Chloe had a severe heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. This means that, about five weeks into the pregnancy, the left chamber in her heart which pumps blood around the body didn’t develop,” said Mrs Wilde, 36.
“The doctors gave us three options: to terminate the pregnancy, to continue with the pregnancy and let Chloe die peacefully shortly after birth or to give birth and follow the surgery route.
“The third option would mean lots of hospital stays and limited life expectancy. We decided on that. We wanted to give her a chance at life.”
Chloe was born by C-section on March 1, 2010, at Leeds General Hospital and rushed straight to intensive care. She was then transferred to the Evelina Children’s Hospital at just four days old where she had her first open heart surgery. It was a success and, within three weeks, she had recovered enough to come home.
“She was very blue in colour due to lack of oxygen flowing through her body. She did really well for around five months but her heart started to get weak so she was rushed by air ambulance back to Evelina where she had her second open heart operation,” Mrs Wilde said.
Chloe, now three years old, spent a lot of time in hospital in the first two years of her life with complications such as feeding issues.
Mrs Wilde added: “She also had a lot of chest infections but she did really well in her development. Although she crawled and walked slightly later than average, she did it!
“Her body became weak again just after her second birthday last year so she returned to London to have the final operation they can offer us.”
We are hoping it will give her a good lifespan but we’ve been told it won’t last until old age and that Chloe’s heart will tire and fail. We are hoping that, when this happens, we will find a perfect match for a heart transplant. We know this is not easy. If she doesn’t get a donor she will lose her life.
“Chloe is an amazing little girl who never complains.”
Mrs Wilde will be Ramping up the Red, a British Heart Foundation event on Friday, February 7, when supporters are asked to wear bright red clothes or make-up to promote the charity’s work.
To order a free pack, visit bhf.org.uk/ red or call 0800 0316316.