Family of baby girl born with half a heart ‘praying every day for miracle’
The family of a young girl born with half a heart have said they are "praying every day" for a miracle as they launch a fundraiser.
Mum Beth Heatherington, 19, and dad Connor Willdigg, 21, are preparing their four-month old baby, Rosalie Heatherington, for a third risky surgery.
It follows on from two previous heart operations carried out on the youngster who has yet to leave the hospital, with the pair rarely able to leave the baby's side.
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The family are now staying in a flat near Birmingham Children's Hospital, while dad Connor drives back and forth between Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham to work and support the family.
Rosalie was discovered to have heart problems while still in the womb but it was unknown at the time how serious the diagnosis would become.
At just four days old, Rosalie went under the knife and was diagnosed with a leaky valve on the right side of her heart and is currently dependent on a hospital supply of oxygen.
Another risky procedure will now attempt to put stitches through the leak, with a fundraising operation launched to support the youngster's parents.
Beth's sister Shalana Bond has since said: "The leaky valve is the massive problem. We're struggling with that. Rosalie's next operation is in a couple of week's time. She's really dependent on oxygen.
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"She needs to comes off the oxygen because she can't live like that. There's no quality of life. The next procedure is very risky and the one we're dreading.
"It's really tragic. We feel helpless and that's why we want to raise money for her. Beth has grown up a lot – I take my hat off to her because I have two kids of my own and to think of what she's going through – it's crazy.
"It's just heart-breaking. She is there constantly. We live in Stoke and trying to travel there and back is hard. We all feel so helpless and that's why we want to do the GoFundMe for her. Beth is doing fantastic. She's such a good role model.
"She amazes me every single day. She sits by Rosalie's side every day. When she does leave her, she waits for her to go to sleep. You always think it won't happen to you or your family. We pray every day – there's still hope and that's what we need to hold onto."
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