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Child of Courage: William Skingle

parents with little boyWilliam Skingle

William was born on 11th February 2015 at St Thomas’ Hospital London (we live in Paignton, Devon) with a rare and extremely serious Congenital Heart Defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Without immediate intervention at birth, he would not survive and there was a 50% chance of him surviving to his first surgery. When given this news we broke down but as soon as the doctor offered us a termination we knew we were going to fight this.

William was born after an induced labour at 39 weeks by a team of 7 doctors.

He was transferred immediately to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital and placed in Paediatric ICU on a drug that would keep him alive for a short time.

William underwent his first open heart surgery on bypass machine. This carried a mortality rate of about 50%. The operation went well and William fought through; we finally went home after a month.

William required his second stage open heart surgery on bypass at 4 months old, 4th June 2015. Again we sat with him as he fought hard as his heart couldn’t get itself into normal rhythm. It finally sorted itself out and we headed home after a couple of weeks. 

William still needs further surgery when he is 3 years old. Although this is the end of the planned surgery Williams heart will still not be fixed and one day inevitably he will need a heart transplant, something that is few and far between.

We attend the Evelina London every 4 months for check-ups. We don’t know how long William will live, and it’s likely we will live longer, but we treasure every memory and every day spent with him.

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