Double delight for tot’s family
The family of a little girl who has had three life-saving operations is planning a double celebration.
Chloe White is one tomorrow. There will be a big party to mark her first birthday followed by a family Christmas.
Chloe was delivered a month early by emergency caesarean. Doctors had discovered she had a rare and potentially fatal condition called vein of galen aneurysm malformation.
The condition causes too much blood to flow through the brain putting a huge strain on the heart. It can result in heart failure.
Chloe’s parents, Mr and Mrs Paul White of Derwent Way, Newark, were told she had only a 25% chance of survival after her birth at Nottingham City Hospital.
Mrs Clare White (37) said: “Last Christmas was very traumatic. It was a nightmare.
“We are looking forward to big celebrations this year and we are really going to enjoy it.”
About 30 family members and friends are expected at Chloe’s birthday party at Mr and Mrs White’s home.
They plan to spend Christmas Day at the home of Mrs White’s parents, Mr and Mrs Roy Hammocks, of Witham Close, Newark.
“Chloe is a bit young to fully appreciate it, so to her it will just be another day but no doubt she will be spoilt,” said Mrs White.
On Christmas Eve last year Chloe was transferred by Royal Navy Sea King helicopter to the Queen Mother’s Children’s Hospital in Glasgow, where doctors with the right skills to operate on her were based.
Chloe was too young to tolerate the long operation that was needed to repair blood vessels in her brain so it was carried out in stages.
The first operation on Christmas Eve involved inserting a tube into her groin and feeding it through her arteries up to her brain where the artery was repaired. A similar procedure was carried out on New Year’s Eve.
Her parents insisted on travelling to Glasgow to be with Chloe and made the seven-hour journey in an ambulance.
They stayed there — 300 miles from family and friends — over the festive period.
Chloe was so ill her parents could not hold her until she was nearly two weeks old.
Mr and Mrs White stayed in a hostel for families of sick children but had to return without Chloe on January 6.
“Leaving her behind was horrible,” said Mrs White.
“We rang the hospital twice a day to hear how she was but it is not the same as being there.”
Chloe was flown back to the East Midlands on a scheduled flight, accompanied by a medical team, on January 16 and continued her recovery at Nottingham City Hospital. She was allowed home on January 28.
Chloe returned to Glasgow in June for a third operation when blood vessels in her brain were sealed using tiny coils and a special glue. Mr and Mrs White were told she had a 50% chance of survival.
Mrs White, who works at Morrisons in Newark, said Chloe had proved the doctors wrong.
“She has been through so much in such a short time, more than most people in a lifetime,” said Mrs White.
“But she is always smiling and laughing and she melts everybody’s hearts, especially with her big blue eyes.”
Mrs White said doctors were pleased with Chloe’s progress and she would continue to have regular physiotherapy.
Chloe is due to return to Glasgow next year for an angiogram, an x-ray of the blood vessels, so doctors can check everything is as it should be.
Mrs White said her son, Mark Holland (15) a pupil at the Magnus School, Newark, doted on Chloe and helped to look after her.
Mr White’s parents, Mr and Mrs Brian White, of Main Street, North Muskham, held a coffee morning that raised more than £1,000 which was divided between Nottingham City Hospital and the Queen Mother’s Children’s Hospital.
More by this authorPeter Harris