UK & World News
Ondine's Curse: Girl With Ventilator Can Go Home
A toddler is preparing to go home for the first time in her life after spending almost three years at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Maisie Harris suffers from a rare condition called Ondine's Curse, which means her brain does not tell her body to breathe, so she needs a ventilator to do it for her.
Now, thanks to a smaller, more portable ventilator, Maisie will be able to leave hospital and head home to Gillingham in Kent.
The new ventilator is intelligent enough to know when she is able to take her own breaths and when she is likely to have an episode and require ventilation.
Her mother Rachel Bridger told Sky News: "It's exciting, I'm nervous. It's all new going home. It'll be good to just be a normal family. You don't feel normal being in hospital so long.
"The last three years have been up and down, good and bad. You give up sometimes. I thought it might be the end of the road but she pulled through which is great news. I'm looking forward to taking her to the park and to her nan's.
"The new ventilator is the best thing she's ever had."
Maisie, who turns three on October 23, has been at London's Great Ormond Street so long that staff held a going-home party. Maisie will leave the hospital with her family on Monday.
Ward manager Kate Harkus said: "It means a lot to the staff that she's going home. We feel very proud. We've nursed her through rocky times.
"There are very few machines in the world that will be able to support her at home. Technology is advancing so much that more companies are coming out with these ventilators that you can manage at home."
Maisie's parents have mostly been living in hospital accommodation ever since she was transferred to Great Ormond Street from Medway Maritime Hospital when she was three months old.
Her father Andrew Harris told Sky News: "It's been difficult. She was in intensive care going backwards and forwards. Now she's ready to go home it's all been worth it.
"I'm looking forward to seeing her go to school and growing up. We didn't think she'd get to this stage."