Parents say daughter, 4, 'moos at everyone' after open heart surgeries

By Olivia Williams

The parents of a young girl were left speechless after taking her to hospital when she was just two-months-old.

Dad Nathaniel Morris, from Warrington, said his daughter Eleanor, four, has had multiple operations due to having holes in her heart.

Nathaniel said it first started when the little girl was just two-months-old and was sent to hospital with bronchitis.

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It was there they found that Eleanor had problems with her heart and at just seven-months-old had her first open heart surgery at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Speaking to the ECHO Eleanor's dad said: "It first started when she two months old, she got bronchitis and was taken to Warrington General where the children doctors came to us in the middle of the night and asked if we knew that our daughter had a murmur.

"We had no idea about it, it wasn't picked up during scans or anything during the pregnancy so we had no idea about it.

"Eleanor's mum, Louisa, was at home so we called her to come in just so she was up-to-date with everything because it was 3am.

"They sent us home so she would get better from the bronchitis. A couple of weeks later we got a letter from Alder Hey which said the cardiac team wanted to see Eleanor.

"They told us what was going on and done lots of scans. At seven-months-old she had her first open heart surgery, they put a band around her to stop the bleeding and close the holes.

"By that time she had three holes that we were aware of."

Eleanor, 4, from Warrington after her heart surgeries (Nathaniel Morris)

Nathaniel said Eleanor "progressed nicely", started nursery and saw a new specialist at Alder Hey who was overseeing the four-year-old's care.

He said: "Eleanor got a new specialist, she is amazing, there's no other way to put it.

"The doctor said she wanted to some experimental stuff on her and have a look inside [the heart] to see what was going on.

"Eleanor had a catheter operation, which went through her groin and then up into the heart."

A month later on July 23, Eleanor had a second open heart surgery to close a large hole.

This time it was closed with a patch of cow membrane, which in turn has meant Eleanor has been "mooing at everyone" said Nathaniel.

left to right: Nathaniel Morris, Eleaor and Louisa (Nathaniel Morris)

The dad said: "A month later on July 23, she went down for open heart surgery to close the large VSD.

"They closed off the big hole with a patch of cow membrane from their heart because the heart in a cow is so strong.

"So she has a piece of cow heart, so now Eleanor keeps mooing at everyone.

"There were also little holes they patched up while they were doing that one.

"We thought this is it and then the doctor turned around and said they found two more that they wanted to patch up.

"So she has had seven holes in total if we're counting back.

"There is also one that is a bit like a lattice, so there is multiple holes in one area so they are wanting to patch all those up in one go in the next operation."

Nathaniel said Eleanor has been a "trooper" throughout and become a ward favourite at Alder Hey due to her "bouncing back" quickly from her operations.

He added: "She is a massive star at the nursery everyone loves her to pieces.

"The ward loved her and how energetic she was and she was bouncing back in a day or so.

"After her large operation she was sat up in ICU, they usually only deal with sleepy patients.

"She had to spend three days in ICU as a standard but she was awake, talking, eating and they were like 'we don't know how to do this, what do we do?'

"In herself she's bubbly, back in soft play, back at nursery, running around and we're going on holiday next month."

Eleanor is due another heart surgery soon, which will hopefully be done by next September before she attends primary school.

Nathaniel thanked all the staff at Alder Hey and said: “Thank you to all the staff - you're all brilliant.”

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