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AMY SAVED BY HOLE IN HEART; Faulty valve kept her alive until docs could operate.

Byline: Lachlan Mackinnon

A GIRL born with a rare medical condition was saved by a hole in her heart.

Amy Cairns needed major surgery at just 11 days old as she fought to survive.

Now aged three, she is fit and healthy and has just started nursery, a day her parents once feared they'd never see.

Amy was born with transposition of the great arteries (TGA), which meant her heart's pulmonary artery and aorta were in the wrong place and oxygenated blood could not circulate correctly.

She only pulled through because a valve in her heart that normally closes after birth remained open.

Mum Heather Reid, 43, said: "If it had shut, she wouldn't be here today. Amy is a miracle baby."

Amy was born at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital on May 19, 2006, weighing 7lb 4oz. A day later, doctors noticed her hands, elbows, feet and lips had turned blue and her skin was mottled pink.

She was flown by air ambulance to Glasgow's Yorkhill Hospital, where she underwent eight hours of open-heart surgery to realign her arteries.

Checkout operator Heather said: "There were quite a lot of tears at the time. But Amy's amazing and just sailed through everything."

Amy's dad Brian Cairns, 43, said: "It was pretty devastating at the time because it was a bit touch and go.

"But Amy has never looked back since the operation. She's bounced forward all the way and now she's just non-stop, full of energy and loves the outdoors.

"If it wasn't for that hole in her heart, she wouldn't be here today. It kept her alive - we are very lucky."

TGA affects only 20 to 30 of every 100,000 births and is three times more likely to affect boys than girls.


MIRACLE GIRL: Amy is now a happy and healthy toddler but her parents feared the worst when she was born, far right
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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