Toddler on road to recovery after life-saving heart op

HAPPY FAMILY -- Angelina shares a hug with brave Jessica and son Finlay -- DISPIC NHUD12-2080-4
HAPPY FAMILY -- Angelina shares a hug with brave Jessica and son Finlay -- DISPIC NHUD12-2080-4

BRAVE little Jessica Lees is on the road to recovery after surgeons successfully repaired a hole in her heart.

The courageous cutie from Hucknall has battled with the condition since birth, but after a five hour operation at Leicester’s closure-threatened heart unit at Glenfield Hospital, the plucky 15-month -old is now doing well.

“She is doing fantastic. She is off her medication and has put on weight already,” said her mum Angelina Oleszynski, speaking from their home on Abbots Drive.

“After the operation she was put in intensive care but the next day she was well enough to go to the ward and was allowed to come home after just a week because she had made such amazing progress.”

It has been a traumatic time for the family since Jessica’s birth and the initial discovery of her heart condition. But the family are now looking forward to happier times.

“When we took her down for the surgery it was the worst day of my life,” added Angelina, who also has a two-year-old son, Finlay. “I was in pieces but knew it was necessary.”

The heart problem has restricted Jessica’s development and growth during her first year but family and friends can already see the difference in the plucky youngster.

“She is still unable to walk but she has made amazing progress since her surgery,” explained Angelina. “Jessica can now pull herself up on the furniture and is crawling about. I don’t think it will be long before she takes her first steps.

“And friends and neighbours who see her regularly are already saying how much better she looks.”

Earlier this year, Angelina held a fundraising event at the Nabb Inn pub in Hucknall, with backing from the Dispatch, in aid of Nottingham City and Glenfield Hospitals. It was a way of thanking them.

Angelina will continue to support the hospitals and is backing the campaign to keep the Glenfield unit open.

But for now the family are hoping for a ‘normal’ life going to toddler groups and mixing with other youngsters, something that Jessica’s condition has made difficult in the past.

Angelina added: “Both Finlay and Jessica have missed out on doing normal things in their short lives so far. We hope now, if all continues to go well, we can look forward to a brighter future.”