A DOCTOR who performed life-saving open-heart surgery on a baby only minutes old has been recognised in a national award.

Dr David Crossland, a consultant paediatric cardiologist at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital was took the Best Doctor category in The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Health Awards.

He was nominated after operating on the walnut-sized heart of Chanel Murrish, of Seaham, County Durham.

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Born with a one in three millions mix of heart conditions, Chanel had a five per cent chance of surviving the operation.

Now aged three, Chanel is starting nursery and wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Her mum Fay, 28, who nominated Dr Crossland for the award, said: “The first op was very risky but she pulled through and Dr Crossland has been there every step of the way since.

“I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for her. Without him and his incredible team, she wouldn’t be with us today."

Fay’s 20-week scan revealed Chanel had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLS), where one side of the heart fails to develop properly.

Chanel had her first operation to place a stent in her heart minutes after she was born weighing 7lb.

Dr Crossland was represented at the awards by children's cardiac nurse specialist Deb Lawson.