Leap into un­known for fam­ily of baby with heart de­fect

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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

Mem­bers of the Bolling­ton Fes­ti­val Com­mit­tee Roland Edwards, Andy Lea, Andrew Lang­don, Karen Waters, Jose Spinks, Bet­sie Dixon and fes­ti­val chair­man Jon Beck

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