Friday 31st August 2012
A TODDLER faces the fight of her life after being told she must have a third open heart operation.
Brave 17-month-old Evie Mae Thorp is set for surgery any day in a battle for survival, as doctors fear her health could deteriorate within weeks.
Despite the situation mum Carly said she was a ‘real fighter’ who had been ‘so brave’.
Stepdad Jack Bamford, 21, who is running the Great North Run on September 16 to raise money for a children’s heart charity, said doctors did not have high hopes that the next operation would be a success.
Jack, from Rosegrove, in Burnley, said: “She was born with a very rare heart condition and has already gone through two open heart surgeries and has another coming soon.
“The next operation is really important, the doctors don’t have high hopes at the moment, but it has to work, if it doesn’t then they don’t think she would have long left.”
Evie Mae and mum Carly, 19, live in Todmorden.
Carly said: “The doctors were very surprised she survived the last operation in November, but this one is even more difficult, they have said it is an impossible operation really.
“They aren’t able to say when her condition will start to deteriorate but they say it could be a matter of weeks and months.”
Evie Mae was born with eight separate problems related to her heart and her body, including being born without a spleen.
Carly said: “She had her first surgery after just a few days, but was out of hospital within two weeks. After the last operation she was out in five days so she is a real fighter, she has been very brave.
“When they first diagnosed the problems they said she might not live until she was 30, then she said she might not reach five, and now they are taking it by weeks and months.”
The family will be going to the Children’s Cardiology department at Leeds General Infirmary on October 2 to see the surgeon, and it is hoped the surgery will take place before Christmas.
Jack, who works at Blackburn Mazda, said: “It has been very traumatic for everyone. Nobody should have to go through what we have all been through, it has been incredibly tough.
“This was such a frightening experience for the whole family and something you can’t ever fully appreciate unless you’ve been there.
“Evie is fine with herself, you wouldn’t really notice anything was wrong, it is just what is going on inside.
“She has been in and out of hospital a lot, she goes in at least every couple of months for a check-up and will now have a third operation when they decide the time is right.”
The heart defect which Evie was born with affects around one in every 130 children.
Jack said he had decided to do the Great North Run on September 16 to raise funds for the Children’s Heart Federation, who have supported the family over the past 17 months.
He said: “We have had great support from quite a few charities and I just wanted to give something back.
“The Children’s Heart Federation do important work in supporting families like ours and helping to raise awareness of children’s heart conditions.
“I’m looking forward to the run and feeling good about it. I’ve been doing plenty of training in advance to make sure I’m ready and can’t wait now to get out there and do my best for CHF and my step-daughter.
“CHF provides great support to so many parents across the UK and a number here in Lancashire, that’s why I’m so passionate about the cause and want to raise as much money as I can to help their work.”
You can donate to CHF on Jack’s JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/Jack-Bamford.