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FIVE ALIVE; Docs said Erin would live for just a few months after she was born with a combination of deadly heart defects..that was two-and-a-half years ago.

Byline: Claire Elliot

DOCTORS feared Erin Rodger would live for just three months after she was born with five heart defects.

She had open heart surgery at just six days old but her parents were warned there was no guarantee of success.

Now dad Gavin and mum Ruth have hailed their little miracle after watching her grow into a happy, healthy two-year-old.

Brave Erin will still need more surgery but loves to swim, sing and dance like most other toddlers.

Ruth, 35, said: "She's amazing. She's just like any other child and we don't treat her any differently.

"She goes swimming and to singing classes and has just started ballet. We don't stop her from doing anything. She's a little miracle."

Gavin and Ruth, from Aberdeen, had been expecting a healthy baby, as scans didn't pick up any problems.

But just hours after she was born on April 20, 2010, weighing 7lb 8oz, doctors at the city's maternity hospital noticed she had a high temperature.

Scans detected a heart murmur and low oxygen levels and within 24 hours the newborn was rushed to Yorkhill children's hospital in Glasgow.

Erin had been born with two holes in her heart and three other defects, a combination doctors hadn't seen in a child before.

Ruth said: "It was not until the doctors drew us a diagram of Erin's heart and a normal heart, and Erin's just didn't look like a heart at all.

"It made it clear it was not everyday heart surgery they were doing. It was complicated and very risky."

Erin was also diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome, a rare chromosomal defect that affects development.

And she has no thymus gland, which controls the immune system.

Narrowing of the throat restricted her breathing, which was corrected at 10 days old.

She has endured seven operations and the family know she will face further heart surgery to replace a stent keeping open her pulmonary artery.

Ruth was not allowed to hold Erin for three weeks after the 12-hour first operation.

She said: "When I could hold her, I never put her down." ERIN'S HEART ERIN was defects., which holes in her She had an arch, which largest blood body - was She also had narrowing of which feeds And she had where her left delivering blood the wrong place.

Chemical engineer Gavin, 37, is to climb to Everest base camp at 17,000ft in Nepal next month to raise money for Yorkhill.

Last year, he helped raise more than PS53,000 by climbing Kilimanjaro. He also plans to help Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.

Donate at www.justgiving.com/Gavin-Rodger-Everest

the 10 ERIN'S 5 DEADLY HEART DEFECTS

ERIN was born with aortic and ventricle defects, which left her with two large holes in her heart.

She had an interrupted right aortic arch, which meant the aorta - the largest blood vessel that supplies the body - was not developed properly.

She also had pulmonary stenosis, a narrowing of the left pulmonary artery, which feeds blood to the lungs.

And she had hemitruncus arteriosus, where her left pulmonary artery delivering blood to the left lung was in the wrong place.

'We don't stop her doing anything ..she's a miracle'

CAPTION(S):

AGAINST THE ODDS Erin with mum Ruth and dad Gavin
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 8, 2013
Words:543
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