One-year-old Amily has spent nearly eight months of her young life in and out of Bristol Children’s Hospital. She has a serious heart condition. We caught up with her mum Jenna to hear how the incredible Dolphin Ward is helping Amily, including what it’s meant to have her very own cardiac teddy.
“Amily has already been through so much. She was only two months old when she was given a teddy and certificate to commemorate her first open-heart surgery. It almost felt like a medal; something to represent the fight I know she has inside her.
I was 20 weeks pregnant when they told my partner Jason and I that she had a condition called Pulmonary Atresia with VSD and MAPCAs. This defect meant one of the main arteries in her heart was completely blocked, and her blood was flowing the wrong way. Despite knowing that she would need treatment for the rest of her life, nothing could have prepared us for what was to come.
Amily is now a year old and has spent nearly eight months of her tiny life in and out of Bristol Children’s Hospital. Her condition has made me feel so helpless. All the things you would normally worry about as a mum are completely intensified. Her journey has felt like a massive rollercoaster. One minute I’m watching her cry in pain, the next I’m feeling proud as she makes progress.
Being away from home has been tough. Life literally feels on hold but we know Bristol Children’s Hospital is where she needs to be. They have been simply amazing. From the surgeons to the consultants to the nurses to the ward clerks and even the porters – they all feel like a second family.
Last week Amily had what we hope is her last surgery. She is so full of energy, running around Dolphin Ward in her walker! I can’t wait to see her enjoying life as any other child would, but I know there might be a few more hurdles to tackle. Once she has fully recovered, we can take our heart warrior home, safe knowing that her future looks bright.
Jason and I will always be so grateful for the care we have received. I hope when Amily looks back on this time she won’t remember any of the pain but instead, she’ll have her teddy by her side to remind her how strong and brave she is.”