Coarctation of the Aorta: George’s Story

George’s heart defects were missed during his mum, Claudia’s pregnancy and immediately after his birth. Thankfully, he was diagnosed just in time. This is their story:

I had a fetal echocardiogram when I was 21 weeks pregnant with George and was reassured his heart was fine.

He also passed all his newborn checks with flying colours!!

However, when George was ten days old he stopped wanting to feed and became very sleepy and floppy.

We rushed him to A&E, where they immediately began resuscitation.

George had Coarctation of the Aorta, an AVSD and a small right chamber. All of this should have been picked up on the fetal echo.

His pre-birth duct had almost closed, meaning his body could not pump the blood and oxygen it needed. We had gotten him there just in time.

Thankfully, George received life-saving open heart surgery at 12 days old and we now have a very happy and cheeky (almost) 10 month old.

Being our first child and born three weeks into the first lockdown, had we known the signs (weak pulse in the lower limbs, faster breathing, nasal flaring and retraction) we would have rushed George to be checked out sooner!

We will continue to fundraise for different charities every year and George will grow up knowing just how precious his little heart is!

Our Think HEART campaign teaches parents and carers the key signs that a baby may have an undiagnosed heart condition. Learn how to Think HEART here.