Little Grace Lister is only eight months old but she’s already proved the doctors wrong.
The youngster was given just three days to live after mum Vicky Snape’s 20-week scan showed a massive heart defect.
Despite facing the prospect of more heart surgery she keeps on smiling and the family have set about raising £3,000 for the hospital which treated her.
Speaking for the first time about what happened Vicky said the first hint of a problem was when she had a scan at 20 weeks.
Vicky was told there was a good chance she wouldn’t make it to the end of the pregnancy but she was born naturally on November 30, just four days early.
The defect that doctors had discovered proved even worse than originally thought, and Grace was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for open heart surgery.
Her condition, called arterial isomerism, means the veins from the left side on her heart are leading in the wrong direction and without treatment she would drown from the amount of blood that would flood her little lungs.
She also has an enlarged liver, an abnormal digestive system, and two spleens instead of one.
The tot had a pulmonary band fitted on her heart and is due to undergo more open heart surgery when she is stronger.
Vicky, 25, from Euxton, said that never gets her little girl down. She said: “Grace never stops smiling. You can just break down when you see her because she always has a massive smile.
“She has been through so much and she has got so much to come but you would never guess it by looking at her smile.”
Vicky and partner Mike, who also have son Finley, three, say they were terrified when doctors first realised what was wrong with their baby girl.
She said: “Once she was born, they took her straight away to give her medication to stop her heart failing and then not long after decided she needed an operation.”
Grace will have a further operation on September 19 to have cardiac catheter fitted, and will then wait to be told when she can yet another operation.
The family took part in a sponsored bike ride on Saturday to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, where they lived for three-and-a-half weeks after Grace’s operation.
They are also raising money for the British Heart Foundation and for Alder Hey.
Vicky said: God knows how we would have done it without them.
“Grace will be on some medication for the rest of her life but she is such a fighter and we just want to thank those who have helped.
“When she was born all the nurses said what a miracle she was and it gives you hope to see a baby like Grace getting stronger every day.”
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