Hero nurse praised for spot­ting rare heart de­fect

Life-sav­ing surgery fol­lows chance di­ag­no­sis

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Alexan­der ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A West Dray­ton fam­ily has praised the nurse whose ea­gle-eye may have saved the life of their son who had heart surgery at just six days old.

Paddy Fitzger­ald was di­ag­nosed with to­tal anoma­lous pul­monary ve­nous drainage (TAPVD) at Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal after the nurse no­ticed a blue tinge at the bed of his fin­ger­nails and feet.

Paddy’s mum Shan­non, 33, said: “I’m feel­ing re­ally re­ally lucky. I can’t imag­ine how our lives would have turned out if we hadn’t spot­ted that.

“Ev­ery time I tell peo­ple the story they say it it gives them chills.”

“At the time it was very scary. We were quite over­whelmed.”

Paddy was born on the cream car­peted land­ing of the fam­ily’s West Dray­ton home on the May 27, de­liv­ered by his dad Billy in just 11 min­utes. The new­born was taken to Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal where it ap­peared that all was fine un­til the se­nior mid­wife, Stella Mi­la­nian spot­ted the un­usual blue marks.

TAPVD is a rare con­gen­i­tal heart de­fect where the veins which carry blood to the heart from the lungs are not con­nected in the right place.

Thanks to the bril­liant work of the nurse, Paddy was able to have the surgery which might just have saved his life.

Mrs Fitzger­ald added: “She prob­a­bly saved us a lot of heartache.

“I don’t know if any­one else would have spot­ted that.

“He looked so healthy and so well. She prob­a­bly saved his life.”

Now four months old, Paddy is en­joy­ing a healthy life.

Mr and Mrs Fitzger­ald also have a daugh­ter Do­minie, who is one, and they said the ex­pe­ri­ence was so dif­fer­ent to her birth.

Ms Mi­la­nian has also be praised by Shane DeGaris, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Hilling­don Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, which runs Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal.

Mr DeGaris said: “Our staff are in­cred­i­bly ded­i­cated to prov­ing the best pos­si­ble care and Stella is a shin­ing ex­am­ple to us all.

“With­out her ex­pert knowl­edge and care­ful at­ten­tion there may have been a very dif­fer­ent out­come for this lit­tle boy. I’m ex­tremely proud of her.” Ms Mi­la­nian has said she was ‘ sim­ply do­ing her job’ and is very glad that Paddy is do­ing well and bring­ing hap­pi­ness to his fam­ily’s lives.

For video of the life-sav­ing surgery visit getwest­lon­don.co.uk

n MIR­A­CLE: Above, Paddy in hos­pi­tal. Inset left, Billy and Shan­non Fitzger­ald with chil­dren Do­minie and Paddy

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