31/03/2015 09:15 BST | Updated 31/05/2015 06:12 BST

Baby Born With Half A Heart Back Home After Nine Operations


A baby who only has half a heart is back home with his parents after battling through four open heart surgeries and five more operations.

Jack Stevens, 15 months, from Hartlepool, County Durham, has spent half of his life in hospital after being born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).

The condition means the left side of his heart did not form properly so he's had to have four open heart operations.

He also suffered a stroke and had to be resuscitated three times.

His dad Chris, 30, told the local paper: "He's been through so much in such a short space of time but he's doing brilliantly.

"We knew about his condition before he was born and he spent the first five months of his life in hospital.

"He had to have open heart surgery when he was just one-week-old and he's had three more since.

"Jack was only 4lbs 4oz when he was born and the condition has slowed his development.

"But he's battled through everything - he's a real fighter."

At just one-week-old, Jack had three stages of the Norwood procedure - a surgery performed on the heart to improve blood flow.

He was eventually allowed home for the first time in April last year but returned back to Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, three months later after suffering a stroke.

He then endured more operations but is finally at home with dad Chris, and mum, Ashton Hodge, 27.
He is now on the brink of taking his first steps and speaking for the first time.

Chris said: "It's a lifelong condition so he will need a transplant at some point in his life but surgeons don't know when yet.

"He'll never be able to do any real physical activity.

"Jack had to be given up to 12 different medications up to four times a day but he only needs three different medications via a syringe at the moment.

"He's also had his feeding tube removed for the very first time last month which is fantastic.

"He's almost walking now and he mumbles all the time so hopefully he'll say his first word soon.

"We're both so proud of him - he's a very inspirational boy."