A BABY, who became Britain's youngest-ever person to have open heart surgery just minutes after being born, is recovering after a series of life saving operations.
But mum and dad Fay and Micheal Murrish refused to give up on their daughter after an ultrasound scan during the pregnancy showed their baby giving a thumbs-up.
Chanel had her first operation to place a stent in her heart minutes after she was born weighing 7lb at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
She underwent a second operation at just seven days and is now aged five weeks.
Mrs Murrish, 24, said: “Chanel has proved she is determined to live. I’m so proud of her. The doctors say one-in-three-million babies are at risk of the same condition.
“I know she wanted to live because she was giving a huge thumbs-up at her scan. It was like she was telling us everything would be OK.”
The first operation kept her alive long enough to have the first operation for a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which meant only one half of her heart was beating.
Mrs Murrish had a straightforward pregnancy until her 20-week scan at Sunderland Hospital when she was told of her baby’s condition.
When the couple were referred to a specialist at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary they were offered their first termination.
Mrs Murrish said: “We were told Chanel could have operations but would only have a 50/50 chance of surviving the first and would need two more.
“Even then her life expectancy would only be to young adulthood and she would eventually need a heart transplant.
"But Chanel started kicking. There was no way I could have a termination.”
Later in the pregnancy doctors also found problems with the baby’s heart’s blood flow.
Mrs Murrish said: “The options were putting Chanel through the operations with a 20 per cent chance of survival, a termination or I could give birth to her and let her slip away peacefully.”
But Chanel survived her first surgery as well as a seven-hour operation seven days later.
Soon after, the couple’s sons, Chase, four, and Cole, 22 months, were able to meet their sister for the first time.
Mrs Murrish said: “For now we’re living in the moment and enjoying our beautiful baby daughter.”
The family has raised £2,000 for Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
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