Baby born with half a heart enjoys first Christmas at home

Vinnie Holliday Credit: BPM Media

He’s the miracle baby boy who enjoyed his first Christmas at home after doctors fitted him with a ‘hand-made’ heart.

Vinney Holliday was born with half of his heart missing on November 7.

He was diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) while still in the womb and needed open-heart surgery just 24 hours after being delivered.

Surgeons at Birmingham Children’s Hospital ‘rewired’ his heart to construct a new aorta, to allow the right side of his heart to pump blood round the body.

Vinney, now seven weeks old, recovered so well that he was able to go home to Moseley with parents Claire and Ben to enjoy his first Christmas.

He is on medication, and will need to go back in for another operation when he is around five months old.

“To take him home was the best present we could have ever asked for. He was our Christmas miracle".

Claire Holliday, Vinnie's mother

Claire first became aware there was a problem when a nurse noticed an anomaly during her 20-week scan.

The couple waited an agonising week before they could get a diagnosis from a cardiologist, who said their unborn baby had HLHS, missing half his heart.

“It was horrific... we were given three options. One, we could have a termination, as there was no knowing how long he would live. Two, we could give him palliative care and wait for him to pass. Three, we could look into the surgical options, where he would have to have open heart surgery at a few hours old.

Claire Holliday, Vinnie's mother

Claire’s late brother Mark was born with the same condition 45 years earlier.But with no treatment for the condition all those years ago, he survived only for a few hours.

After a harrowing pregnancy, baby Vinney was born at Birmingham Women’s Hospital. His proud mum was able have a precious cuddle with her baby, who weighed an impressive 7lbs 2oz.

The little battler was able to breathe on his own for 24 hours in the neonatal ward before he needed to be ventilated.

He was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the vital surgery.

Vinney was in surgery for five hours, and spent a week recovering in intensive care.

His parents were told to expect him to spend up to four months in hospital, meaning they would have to spend Christmas by his bedside.

But, remarkably, Vinney was able to leave hospital after just three weeks, and was home for Christmas.

Before they left the hospital Ben and Claire were trained on how to perform CPR on their baby, and coached in the warning signs and symptoms to look out for.

He is on medication, and will need to go back in for another operation when he is around five months old.