Leap into unknown for family of baby with heart defect
THE family of a baby born with a serious heart condition have described the long, difficult journey that lies ahead.
Samuel Bellerby was born on January 17 with a valve missing from his heart. It means blood cannot pump around his body properly and he needs major heart surgery within the next two months and at least twice again as he grows older.
The last fortnight has been an emotional rollercoaster for Sam’s parents Lisa and Steve, as well as his big brothers Alfie, seven, and Luis, 11.
But they have praised the lifesaving work of Macclesfield Hospital’s special baby unit and Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, where Sam is being cared for.
Steve, 37, who lives off Somerton Road on the Weston estate, said: “Nothing prepares you for something like this. It has been incredibly difficult for everyone. But the staff at Macclesfield and Alder Hey have been incredible and we are staying positive.
“Sam’s still so tiny and has been through so much but he’s a showing real fighting spirit.”
The main problem with Sam’s heart is that a large valve that pushes blood around the body did not develop while he was in Lisa’s womb.
Doctors are now waiting for Sam to grow to a weight of 3kg so they can attempt corrective surgery. In the meantime doctors have to keep the blood pumping artificially using special drugs and medical equipment.
Sam underwent surgery at the weekend to allow lines for the medicine to be pumped directly into his heart.
Lisa, 31, and Steve are staying at Ronald McDonald House near the hospital so they can be close to Sam.
Steve will soon have to return home to work in his job as a window fitter, while Lisa, a group leader at the Rossendale Trust, will stay by Sam’s bedside.
Steve said: “Depending how quickly he puts on weight, Sam could be ready for surgery between four and seven weeks. All being well, he’ll take another seven weeks to recover. We are at the start of a long journey into the unknown. We have to take each day as it comes.”
Alfie and Luis are staying with family, including their grandad Mark Warren, 55. He said: “It has been tough but we’re sticking together to get through.”
The family are fundraising for Alder Hey via www.justgiving. com/Samuel-SimonWarren-Bellerby
Parents Lisa and Steve with children Luis, 11, Alfie, seven, and baby Sam, also below, who was born with a missing heart valve
Sam needs specialist treatment to keep him alive
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