We were overjoyed when I got pregnant but at 20 weeks my bump was too big and I rightly feared the worst | The Sun

A MUM was overjoyed when she fell pregnant with her second child – but by 20 weeks, she feared the worst.

Samantha Sargent's bump was far bigger than it should have been and doctors said her baby was at "high risk" of being born too prematurely.

She made it to full term and had an emergency C-section, which went as well as it could have.

But when little Willow entered the world, panic started to set in as the tot wasn't breathing.

She required life-saving surgery, and Samantha later discovered the little girl has a rare heart disease, leaving her on "borrowed time" due to the "unknown" future ahead.

Now, the stay-at-home mum-of-two, 26, is sharing her baby's harrowing battle in a bid to raise awareness for a condition, which has “robbed” her of precious time with her newborn.


I’m a dermatologist – here’s 2 overrated skin fads & cheap swaps that are BETTER

People are just realising eight everyday foods and drinks contain alcohol

Samantha, who was the same size as a full term pregnancy just three and a half months in, said: "I heard the doctor say my little girl couldn’t breathe and that her skin was a mottled-blue colour. I thought I had already lost her.

"I cried as she was quickly whisked away to intensive care and I wasn’t allowed to see her for the next 24 hours, which was agony.

"I kept thinking about what was wrong, but no one could give me any straight answers.

"Then, the doctor came to see me with devastating news of her diagnosis."

Most read in Health


The 'silent' symptom of high cholesterol that shows on your TOES & 3 other signs


First British baby with THREE parents born in 'groundbreaking leap for IVF'


Is your phone addiction making you sick? Here are the 8 signs to watch out for


Warning to millions on antidepressants for chronic pain as 'drugs don't work

Samantha, from Brighton, East Sussex, claims nothing was detected throughout their routine scans and assumed she would be delivering a "healthy" baby – but it quickly became clear this wasn't the case.

After an X-ray and ultrasound, Willow was diagnosed with severe pulmonary stenosis, a disease which affects the flow of blood to the heart and lungs.

While shocked, the mum didn’t have any time to think as doctors informed the family that she needed to be transferred to Evelina London Children’s hospital for keyhole heart valve surgery straight away.

Samantha claims that without the procedure, there was a high risk of her daughter not making it through the night.

"I tried to keep my cool, although I was terrified about the outcome," she said.

"If she didn’t have the surgery then and there, she wouldn’t be here for much longer and I knew I had to keep any emotions to myself until she was in the clear."

Luckily, the surgery was a success, but the following few weeks presented another issue, as Willow was unable to suck, feed or swallow.

Soon, medics found a laryngeal cleft, an abnormal opening between the larynx and oesophagus, which causes food and drink to end up in the lungs.

Due to this, Willow kept being sick and her weight was quickly decreasing.

I heard the doctor say my little girl couldn’t breathe and that her skin was a mottled-blue colour. I thought I had already lost her.

She is now on a special type of milk which is fed through her nose into the intestines and, when she reaches 8kg, another operation will be carried out to help keep the food down.

Willow currently weighs 6.9kg and will require another valve surgery at 11 months old, followed by a final one as a teenager.

Samantha, her husband Mo, 28, and their six-year-old daughter Imaani are unsure what the future holds for their little girl, but their hearts have been warmed by seeing how happy she makes their first born.

She added: "At three weeks old, Imaani was finally able to meet her sister and it was such a joyous and happy moment.

"She’s been so patient and gentle and has since made Willow gifts such as cards and paintings to take to the hospital.

"Whenever she can’t settle, Imaani takes over and sings her to sleep – it’s been magical.

"I hope I can raise awareness with my little girl's story and warn people that this congenital heart disease can affect anybody.

"Sometimes, like in our case, it comes without any warning or knowledge until they're born.

Read More on The Sun

I found my dream council home on Facebook – I did all the work myself

I’m a travel expert – here’s why you should always get on a plane LAST

"I do worry about how she will grow up in the future and how this condition will affect her mentally and physically.

"But, no matter what, I know she’ll always have her sister by her side to aid her in any battle life throws at us."

What is pulmonary stenosis?

PULMONARY stenosis is a form of congenital heart disease – a term used to describe a problem with the heart’s structure and function due to abnormal development before birth.

It sees the narrowing of the valve between the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) and the large blood vessel that carries blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen (pulmonary artery). 

This means the heart has to work harder to push blood through the narrowed valve to get to the lungs.

Over time, this makes the muscle in the right ventricle thicken.

It is diagnosed during a scan in pregnancy or after birth.

Most children do not require surgery, but they will be monitored by cardiologists.

Source: Great Ormond Street Hospital / NHS

Source: Read Full Article