Just look at you now!
PARENTS SO GRATEFUL TO MEDICS FOR SAVING BOY’S LIFE
BORN with a “back to front” heart, this bundle of joy’s parents feared they would lose their perfect son just hours after bringing him into the world.
There were tears of happiness when Antonia Mulhall and Scott Rothwell found out they were going to have their first child together.
And when Julius was born on May 15 at the University Hospital of North Durham, he seemed like a perfectly healthy baby.
But Antonia, of Langley Moor, County Durham, started to worry when she noticed her new son’s hands looked purple and the area around his nails was black.
“Having a baby was something we spoke about but couldn’t really believe it would happen. After countless scans we opted to have a planned C-section,” said Antonia, 37.
“When I saw his colour I mentioned it to a nurse, but it can take a little while for oxygen to reach the hands and feet so we didn’t think too much of it at first.
“But when they were checking him over to see if we could go home, his SATS readings were extremely low.”
Julius was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for further tests, where doctors diagnosed him with transposition of the great arteries – a rare condition which affects between two and three babies in every 10,000.
The defect occurs when the two main arteries going out of the heart – the pulmonary artery and the aorta – are switched in position.
Salon owner Antonia said: “We were told he needed to have open heart surgery to switch the valves round.
“The success rate for the surgery is extremely high but you always think your baby might be that one that doesn’t make it.
“Everything we had been through, carrying the baby, having him, then all of a sudden your world feels like it’s crumbling because you think you might lose them.”
Julius was transferred to the Freeman Hospital, where surgeons planned to operate on him in two weeks’ time.
But when he was just two days old, Julius’ heart rate shot up by almost double and he was rushed in for surgery two days later.
Antonia said: “By this point we were at an all-time low seeing our gorgeous new child nil by mouth waiting for his operation.
“Luckily the surgery went really well and from then on he’s been doing fantastic.”
After two long weeks, Antonia and hairdresser Scott, who have five other children between them, were able to take Julius home.
To say thank you, they held an afternoon tea fundraiser for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund in honour of the surgeons who saved Julius’ life.
She said: “That time in hospital was the worst two weeks of my life.
“It was the most traumatic thing we’ve ever had to deal with, but it was made so much easier by the staff at the Freeman.