Parents relieved as second son survives vital early heart surgery

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A BABY has survived an operation for a deadly heart condition three years after his brother underwent the same procedure.

Parents Hayley and Andy Aris, both 27, had to watch their four-month-old Jackson endure the same five-and-a-half hour operation that older brother Harrison, now three, underwent in 2009.

The couple, of Leeds, were devastated when the 19-week scan showed their second child also had a hole in his heart – despite the chance of such happening in a second child being only three in 100.

Their other son, Harrison – born five weeks early and weighing just four pounds– had spent longer in hospital than he had at home by the age of 17 weeks.

The youngster underwent open heart surgery, battled the superbug MRSA and had to go under the knife again to beat the infection – all before he was five-months-old.

So when Jackson developed a high temperature after his operation, Mrs Aris feared the worst.

She said: “I just thought ‘Oh no, here we go again.’

“It was awful. We were given the odds but it’s still quite unusual.

“Once you’ve had one child with a hole in the heart, the next time there’s a three per cent chance of it happening again.”

She added: “Because Harry was so well we just didn’t expect it to happen again.”

And she said it was even tougher this time round.

“Last time we didn’t know there was a problem until we took him to hospital, whereas this time we knew every little sign.”

But Jackson had no complications and proved to be just as much as a fighter as his sibling, spending just five days at Leeds General Infirmary after the surgery that was carried out by the same medical team – at the request of the family.

The infant was allowed home on his grandfather’s birthday, which his mother said was “the best present he could have wished for.” She added: “He had the operation on the Monday and we were home on the Saturday. I couldn’t believe it.”

She said doctors told her it had been “a big hole and a big heart” – a sign that his damaged heart was failing.

But, Mrs Aris, a nurse at LGI herself, said the improvement was immediate.