UK & World News

  • 19 December 2012, 1:06

Photos Helped Save Baby Danny Davies' Life

The life of a baby with a rare heart condition was saved by a trip to a professional photographer.

Neil and Fran Davies had booked the session for some pictures of their son Danny, who was just a few weeks old.

When the photographs were developed, the parents noticed purple blotches on Danny's skin had got worse and his hands and feet looked almost blue.

Mrs Davies mentioned her concerns about the blotches to a community nurse who sent them to their GP to get Danny's oxygen levels checked.

It was the first step in a chain of events that ended in life-saving treatment at Southampton General Hospital, where baby Danny was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PA-VSD).

Mrs Davies, from Felpham, near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, said: "At this point, we were remarkably calm and still didn't think it was that serious. We waited in the kitchen on ocean ward in Southampton while the doctors performed some tests on Danny.

"Next thing we knew we were ushered through to a private room and told Danny had a very rare congenital heart condition and was critically ill. He was struggling to get oxygen around his body and we were told the next 24 hours were critical.

"We couldn't quite believe how quickly he'd deteriorated: we went from thinking our son was a healthy newborn to being told his life was in danger within the space of a few hours.

"In fact, we were told that if we'd taken 15 minutes longer to get to Southampton, Danny might not have made it - it was almost unbelievable."

PA-VSD is a very rare congenital malformation of the heart where the pulmonary valve fails to develop properly, obstructing the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.

It was a nail-biting time for Mrs Davies, 23, and Mr Davies, a 22-year-old mechanic.

Danny spent four months in hospital undergoing further surgery to reconstruct his heart.

Finally, in October 2010, he returned home. He is now two, has a little sister called Sky and has a new home more suited to his care.

But he has undergone a further 12 procedures and will need to visit hospital regularly.

Danny has also been referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to see if further treatment, including the possibility of a heart and lung transplant, will help him.

Kevin Roman, consultant in paediatric cardiology, said: "Danny is one of the most complex patients we have ever seen and has been through an incredible journey in his short life.

"He's such a fighter and has quite a fan base here. We will continue to do everything we can for Danny and give him the best outlook in the coming years."

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