Happy Birthday Baby! Smallest Baby To Have Open Heart Surgery Celebrates First Birthday

13/01/2012 17:56 | Updated 22 May 2015
Happy Birthday baby! Getty

Eleana Hasting became the smallest baby in Britain to have open heart surgery when she was operated on at just nine days old.

Today she celebrated her first birthday, with a party on the ward at Birmingham Children's Hospital, where she has spent the majority of her life, after being born weighing just 3lb, 5oz.

Eleana has spent just 16 days at home with her family in Coventry after she was born with a missing valve, a hole between her two heart chambers and dilated pulmonary arteries.

Her parents, Francesca and Darren, decorated Eleana's ward for her first birthday, celebrating the huge milestone with her older siblings, Jamie, 11, Imogen, eight, and Alfie, two.

"Eleana has not left intensive care for 130 days. I think that's another record," says Eleana's mum, Francesca.

"We're going to have a party with balloons and cakes. We thought, we can't do that in ICU, but the staff said, of course you can. The downs are real lows but the highs are euphoric. It's wonderful to see Eleana rolling about smiling."

Eleana was born with heart problems, and her body had difficulty maintaining oxygen levels. She has had three major operations in just her first year, and spent Christmas Day on a life support machine.

Francesca has moved into Ronald McDonald House, a charity centre next to the hospital to be closer to her daughter.

"The doctors say by the time Eleana is four or five there is no reason why she should be any different to the other children running around the playground," says Francesca. "That keeps us going."

To support Please Don't Stop, Birmingham Children's Hospital Heart Appeal visit

Happy Birthday Eleana!

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