Gallery: Welwyn Garden City baby survives miraculous surgery
A 12-WEEK-OLD baby who had little chance of surviving is miraculously alive after surgeons used a cow's vein to repair his heart. Tiny Alfie Kennedy's teenage mum had fought for her son's life throughout her pregnancy. Seventeen-year-old Josie was advise
A 12-WEEK-OLD baby who had little chance of surviving is miraculously alive after surgeons used a cow's vein to repair his heart.
Tiny Alfie Kennedy's teenage mum had fought for her son's life throughout her pregnancy.
Seventeen-year-old Josie was advised to abort her bonny boy from her very first scan after fears he could be disabled or die in the womb.
At the second scan Alfie's heart condition and kidney problems were spotted and Josie knew he was unlikely to live.
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The former Sir Frederic Osborn pupil, of Chambers Grove, WGC, said she did not want to abort her unborn child.
"If anything was going to happen to him I wanted it to be natural, not what I had decided," she said.
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After a week-long agonising and terrifying labour, Josie's only dream was to see her boy alive.
Alfie's grandma, 38-year-old Susan, said: "We were told the baby wasn't going to survive so it was extremely frightening."
Alfie was rushed to intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital as doctors battled against his heart and kidney problems.
Josie said: "Doctors said if he'd had either one of the conditions eight years ago he wouldn't have survived, and Alfie had both."
At just two weeks old the tot's organs began to fail and surgeons chose to undertake the revolutionary five-hour operation replacing his heart valve with a cow's jugular vein.
Following the bypass surgery Alfie's chest could not be closed, and for five days Josie and Alfie's 18-year-old dad Lewis Bennett sat watching his heartbeat through a layer of clingfilm.
The young family are now back at home, and despite a cocktail of medication, Alfie is a happy, healthy little boy.
Proud Josie said: "It makes you appreciate everything.
"When he wakes in the middle of the night, you get up with a smile on your face.
"He's our little hero and a living miracle."