TINY HOLE IN HEART SAVED MY BABY GIRL; Mum's shock at diagnosis.
LUCKY Isla Sanderson survived a hidden heart defect - thanks to a tiny hole which kept blood circulating round her body.
The discovery of the hole stunned her mum as the tot had been so full of life up to a month after her first birthday.
But when she was taken to hospital with a high temperature amazed doctors found her liver and part of her heart were enlarged.
Under normal circumstances the heart and liver problems would have killed her at birth, but the hole in her heart had kept her alive by circulating oxygenated blood around her body.
Her mum, Pauline Danderson, 38, said: "Normally most babies born with her condition would be blue but she wasn't. She was perfectly fine and she showed no symptoms.
"She would have had the defects from when I was eight weeks' pregnant - her heart just hadn't formed properly.
"It was only because of the hole in her heart that some oxygenated blood was getting around her body." Isla, now three, suffers from total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage - where all four pulmonary veins are connected to the wrong heart chambers.
The condition starves the body of oxygen and between 80% to 90% of babies with it die before they are one.
Mrs Sanderson, an IT worker from Aberdeen, added: "I only took her to hospital because she had tonsilitis and a chest infection.
"In hospital they kept saying things weren't right with her heart. But even the nurses said our daughter looked fine. I was totally gob-smacked when we were told she had a hole in her heart."
Isla was so poorly she was sent to Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow, where surgeons performed a four-hour operation to reconnect the veins and patched the hole with Gore-Tex. Brave Isla was home in a week, in October 2008, and just weeks later was beginning to walk.
Pauline and husband George, 44, have been told she will be still able to lead an active life.
SAVED Isla recovers after her operation ALL'S WELL Isla, now a boisterous toddler, with mum