Amazing surgeons saved our daughter’s life

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A Walesby couple have thanked the amazing surgeons at a specialist children’s heart surgery unit for saving the life of their baby daughter.

Eight months old Harriet Harper was born with a hole in the heart and in her short life she has twice had surgery to correct her potentially fatal condition.

Her parents Andrea and Nigel Harper of Tuxford Road have paid tribute to surgeons at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester who operated on Harriet just four days after she was born.

She faces further open heart surgery later this year.

Nigel, 61 told Chad: “When Andrea had her 20-week scan at King’s Mill Hospital they told us the baby had a hole in the heart.

“Andrea was very upset - up to then everything had been going really well.

“We thought why has this happened to us?

“When Harriet was born she was referred to Glenfield and from start to finish the work of the NHS has been amazing.

“When she was three days old they found out she had problems with her pulmonary artery and the valve.

“They put a shunt in to allow the blood to flow.

“A month ago she went back to have a stent in and in a month or two she will go back in to patch her heart and replace the valve.

“They will have to stop her heart to patch it.

“They have already saved her life - we can’t thank them enough.

“You wouldn’t know to look at her she’s a typical bouncing 14lb baby.”

Nigel and Andrea married two months ago. They met two years ago while cycling in Morroco.

“It just clicked, we fell in love and decided to have a baby,” said Nigel.

“Harriet came along and changed our lives forever.”

The couple have raised £3,000 which they are donating to Heartlink, the charity East Midlands Children’s Heart Care Association at Glenfield Hospital.

They say they were lucky the unit was still there to treat Harriet, which will now remain open after it was threatened with closure by NHS England

Nigel added: “The NHS tried to transfer it to Birmingham and it would have been very difficult for us all if Harriet had to be admitted there.”