The 2018 Alder Hey Christmas Campaign is about to launch and this year it features the amazing heart warrior Alba.
Read more about Alba's story here and please consider donating to the charity. Every penny makes a huge difference.
Like most one year olds Alba Butler is always on the move and loves her food, but that first birthday milestone is one her parents Alejandra and Danny feared she would never reach.
“During her 20-week scan our little heart warrior was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries (TGA), a heart defect where the aorta is connected to the right ventricle, and the pulmonary artery is connected to the left ventricle — the opposite of a normal heart’s anatomy. It was an extremely scary and difficult time but we knew she was a little fighter.”
Born on 15th November at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Alba was immediately transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where she underwent her first procedure, a balloon septostomy, within the first few hours of her life.
Then, just 8 days later, Alba was back in Alder Hey for a crucial 9 hour open-heart surgery to switch and correct the valves, performed by Consultant Congenital Cardiac Surgeon Rafael Guerrero and his team. This was followed by an intense period of postoperative care by the hospital’s large cardiac team.
“She’s a born fighter. Just over 3 weeks after her open heart surgery she was discharged and we began normal life as a family.”
Unfortunately, in January that normal life was put on hold as at just 9 weeks old, Alba was readmitted to Alder Hey after a cardiology consultation showed she had fluid compressing her lungs making it a struggle for her to feed and breathe.
After a further two procedures to insert surgical drains at the sides of her chest, a special diet of milk and medicine, and a successful battle against sepsis and pneumonia - the fluid finally started to disappear.
“Eventually, after 7 weeks and 1 day, the amazing team at Alder Hey were finally happy for her to go home.”
Alba was discharged once again and ready to start her perfect little life as a healthy and happy child.
“Had it not been for the wonderful staff who diagnosed Alba antenatally and planned her whole arrival our story could have been very different. Every department put in 110% into helping getting Alba better and made sure we too were coping. We shall forever be indebted to Alder Hey and its fabulous life-saving staff who changed our little girl from a very poorly newborn to a thriving, determined 1 year old!”
Make a heart-warming difference this Christmas
Every year over 275,000 children from around the UK are treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Thanks to remarkable clinicians and staff, the lives of many children, like Alba, and their families are transformed.
Your donation to Alder Hey Children’s Charity will help to ensure that our amazing clinicians and staff have the very latest, ground breaking facilities and life-saving equipment to continue to save the lives of children like Alba.
You can donate here, online at alderheycharity.org or by calling the fundraising team on 0151 252 5716.
“Alder Hey is an amazing hospital with incredible staff. Please help them continue to save the lives of children like Alba and change the lives of families like mine by making a donation this Christmas. Thank you.”