SureBaby Blog

Baby With Six Heart Defects Beats the Odds!

Posted by Alissa Robson

Miracles happen every day, and the story of baby Riley Lewis is definitely one of them! After surviving a difficult birth, Riley has overcome six separate heart defects to grow into a happy toddler.

Parents Michelle and Darryl Lewis had no reason to suspect anything was wrong with their baby until a routine scan revealed it was very difficult to hear the baby’s heartbeat. A scan with a specialist confirmed the worst and then some – Riley’s heart condition was severe.

While one heart defect is difficult news for parents to hear, the Lewises were informed that their baby had six separate defects: back to front valves, a large hole in the heart and a variety of other problems that caused arteries to thicken, making it difficult for blood to pump.

The prognosis was so grim that the couple were even advised to terminate their pregnancy.

But the couple said they couldn’t even consider it, and proceeded with the pregnancy, plagued by worry and concern for their baby. When Michelle went into labour on Christmas Eve, she learned that Riley’s heart was stopping with every contraction.

By some miracle, Riley survived an emergency C-Section birth on Christmas Day, and at 8 hours old underwent his first heart surgery. A tiny balloon was placed inside his heart to help pump blood through his arteries.

At 5 days old, a second surgery was performed to install a shunt, and Riley again pulled through. Still in recovery for New Year’s Eve, his parents were oblivious to all celebrations other than the fact that their baby had survived against all odds and all medical opinion.

In the past year, Riley has had three more operations, and is expected to need more throughout his life to replace shunts. However, otherwise, he is expected to lead a normal life, which has both his parents in awe.

Says his father, “We are just two normal people – we don’t drink a lot, we don’t do drugs, we’re quiet living – we couldn’t understand why this had happened to us or how to deal with it.”

But after giving credit to the caring doctors and nurses who helped them through the whole process, Darryl has eyes only for his family. “Riley is our little superstar,” he said. “I look at him and Michelle every day and just think how lucky I am to have them both.”

Talk about a miracle story! What do you think of Riley’s amazing recovery? Let us know in the SureBaby comments!

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