When my baby girl was diagnosed prenatally with Incomplete Shone’s Syndrome at 32 weeks, it was beyond a shock. The condition meant that one side of her heart was not developed properly and that she would most likely need delicate open heart surgery when she was born.
Baby Honey was born on 22 September 2011 at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and two days later, she was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, by which point I had been discharged.
Honey was critical and we were so anxious to be as close to our baby daughter as we possibly could be. Thankfully, on the day that Honey had her surgery, our cardiac liaison officer let us know about the Ronald McDonald House – located a five minutes’ walk from the hospital which meant we could be with Honey almost instantly.
We stayed at Ronald McDonald House Birmingham for three weeks. At the time, my husband Daniel and I had three other children all under the age of 10 and we wondered how we would cope. The House meant that we could all stay together and be strong for Honey. There was a phone in our bedroom connected to her ward which meant we could be with her in less than ten minutes if there was a problem.
After her life-saving operation just after she was born, Honey has had no further surgeries. She has just turned three and is a happy and intelligent little girl.