'Miracle baby' Ava celebrates her first birthday; Milestone for baby who has survived two liver transplants.
Byline: Madeleine Brindley
SMILING and laughing as she celebrates her first birthday, this is the moment Ava's parents prayed they would see.
After spending almost her entire life on a hospital ward, Ava, who underwent two life-saving liver transplants, is finally at home with parents Laura Thomas and Nathan Raffour.
The one year old's family gathered around her yesterday to celebrate her birthday and long-awaited home-coming.
Laura, 22, said: "It's amazing - we feel like we're just starting again.
"The last year was awful, but we're here now and we can move on with the rest of our lives.
"I appreciate the time I have with her so much, even going for a walk in the park is an amazing experience."
Ava is still being fed by tube overnight and must make weekly trips to the University Hospital of Wales University Hospital of Wales (referred to locally as "the Heath" or UHW), opened in 1971, is situated on the outskirts of central Cardiff, Wales.
It is also the third largest University Hospital in the United Kingdom providing 24 hour Accident & Emergency and various , in Cardiff, and Birmingham Children's Hospital Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust manage the central Birmingham hospital now also known as The Diana, Princess of Wales Children's Hospital, which provides general and emergency health care services to children in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond. for check-ups.
But since being discharged home to Cardiff from Birmingham, Laura said she has come on "leaps and bounds".
"When I take her to UHW UHW United Healthcare Workers
UHW UltraHawke Weighbridges (Australia) and see the support staff, they can't believe what she's been through and how well she is now," Laura said.
"Apart from the tube in her nose, she looks just like any other normal and healthy one year old."
Ava's miraculous fight for life began just hours after she was born when she stopped breathing because of congen-itaproblems in her heart.
She had to have her heart valves Heart valves
Valves that regulate blood flow into and out of the heart chambers.
Mentioned in: Heart Failure re-opened when she was four days old. And just as she had recovered from the procedure her young parents were given the devastating news that she was suffering from a liver condition, which caused the vital organ to fail.
After a desperate three months Ava received a new liver at Birmingham Children's Hospital from a 24-year-old man who had died, on May 10.
But just a few hours later the transplant failed and Ava suffered a cardiac arrest cardiac arrest
Abbr. CA A sudden cessation of cardiac function, resulting in loss of effective circulation.
A condition in which the heart stops functioning. - doctors told Nathan and Laura that Ava was not strong enough for a second transplant.
Nathan, 26, who works in the finance sector, said: "For everything that we have been through as a family, we knew that this was pretty serious but we had been through so many serious situations with Ava that we couldn't believe this was the end."
Ava survived for five days without a liver while she waited for the second transplant, which would give her a chance of life.
Laura, who lives in Cardiff, said: "Ava has never really had the opportunity to learn what things are because she's spent so much time in a hospital room. But now she loves animals and being outside and understands what's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. .
"We couldn't be happier."
Baby Ava Raffour celebrates her first birthday with her parents Laura and Nathan. Below, in Birmingham Children's Hospital PICTURE: Andrew Davies [umlaut]