THIRD HEART OP FOR BRAVE JAMES

BRAVE ARKLOW BOY IS RE­COV­ER­ING AF­TER ‘A ROUGH FEW DAYS’

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - FRONT PAGE - By DEBORAH COLE­MAN

AN ARKLOW school­boy is re­cov­er­ing af­ter his third open heart surgery in 11 years.

James Ward Fox, who turns 12 this month, un­der­went an eight-hour oper­a­tion in Crum­lin Hos­pi­tal on Thurs­day, which de­ter­mined that half of his heart had stopped work­ing.

He made in­ter­na­tional head­lines as an in­fant when he un­der­went pi­o­neer­ing surgery to have part of his ar­ter­ies re­placed with an­i­mal ar­ter­ies.

His mother Nicola said that de­spite a few scary mo­ments, James is now re­cov­er­ing well.

A YOUNG Arklow boy is re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing his third open heart surgery to date.

James Ward Fox (11) from Wood­brook made in­ter­na­tional head­lines as an in­fant when he un­der­went pi­o­neer­ing surgery to have part of his ar­ter­ies re­placed with an­i­mal ar­ter­ies.

James was born with a se­ries of heart de­fects which af­fect one in a thou­sand chil­dren and un­der­went his orig­i­nal surgery in Birm­ing­ham at just nine months old.

In re­cent weeks, he be­came very ill again and was rushed to Our Lady’s Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, Crum­lin, where he was ad­mit­ted for a week while await­ing the life-sav­ing surgery.

‘He was hav­ing dif­fi­culty breath­ing and we were sent to Crum­lin. When we got there they kept him in to see if his heart rate would sta­bilise and they didn’t let him come home be­fore the surgery as he wasn’t well enough,’ said James’s con­cerned mother Nicola.

Last Thurs­day, James un­der­went an eight-hour surgery dur­ing which doc­tors found that one half of his heart had stopped work­ing.

‘It was as if half of his heart had col­lapsed,’ said Nicola. ‘They re­placed the valves and rather than the size 20 ones he had, they put in size 25 which means that they should last un­til he is an adult. He will still need fur­ther open heart surgery in the fu­ture, as well as reg­u­lar an­giograms and stents, but we hope that he will make it through his teens now with­out any more,’ she said.

Nicola said that she and her hus­band James and daugh­ter Mary were re­lived that James’s surgery went as planned.

‘We are very happy that it went well. We had a rough few days af­ter as James got fluid in his lungs and de­vel­oped an in­fec­tion. He was given an­tibi­otics and a pres­sure mask and then was given blood as the red cell count was low,’ she said.

James how­ever, took a turn for the bet­ter on Mon­day and by Tues­day af­ter­noon was trans­ferred from ICU to a ward, where he will re­main for the rest of this week.

‘It has been a hard few days but we are get­ting there now thank God,’ Nicola said.

James Ward Fox.

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