Emilia3 May 2019, 12:03 p.m.
Imagine being barely over a year old and already having endured three open heart surgeries.
This is the story of 18-month-old Emilia who was born with a serious heart condition called pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PA-VSD).
PA-VSD causes an obstruction in the heart, meaning your blood is unable to flow properly and because of its severity, which can cause a child to look blue and have difficulty breathing; it means vital surgery is urgently required. As a result, throughout Emilia’s short life she has been in and out of Bristol Children’s Hospital. Her first trip was at just a day old as she was airlifted from her home in Truro to Bristol to receive life-saving treatment, where she spent nine weeks.
Since her difficult start in life Emilia has had a further two surgeries with her last earlier this year. Mum Chloe has had to face up to the reality that she will require treatment for the rest of her life but it never gets any easier seeing Emilia being wheeled away into theatre.
Throughout this heart-wrenching time, Chloe has never been too far from her daughter. Giving her a much-needed place to rest and sleep, she has found comfort at Paul’s House along with Emilia’s grandmother.
“Paul’s House meant so much to us. It provided us with a safe space to think and rest during the scariest time of our lives.””
Despite her uncertain future, the brave and beautiful Emilia and Chloe know that not only will the amazing team at Bristol Children’s Hospital always be there for them but so too will Paul’s House and The Grand Appeal family.