Coarctation of the Aorta: Eiley’s Story

Chloe’s daughter Eiley was seriously ill when her heart condition, coarctation of the aorta, was diagnosed. Chloe shares their story:

Our daughter was born in October 2020. All our scans had been perfect and we had a relatively uneventful pregnancy -despite coronavirus!

When she was born, she was just perfect. She thrived, gaining weight and feeding just as she should have done. However, she was jaundiced at birth, so we had to go in for check-ups. It just wasn’t going away.

At Eiley’s 21 day check-up, the doctor noticed her breathing was very fast. More tests later found that she had no femoral pulses in her legs at all, and a cardiologist on site at the time decided the best thing to do was to carry out an echo.

Even from behind his mask, I could see his face fall as he told us the devastating news that our baby girl was incredibly ill and needed heart surgery urgently. He diagnosed Eiley with coarctation of the aorta. Her heart was seriously poorly and, after working so hard to keep her alive for three weeks, it was tired and swollen. We were told that she was days if not hours away from cardiac arrest. We nearly lost her – that is something that haunts us every day.

Eiley was rushed to Leeds in a specialist baby ambulance and had her heart surgery within days. There have been some complications as a result of her surgery, and she was a very poorly little girl for quite some time, but we just had her six month cardiac check-up and I am very pleased to say she has had a perfect correction! Her cardiologists are very pleased with her progress and she makes us so proud every day.

Find out more about coarctation of the aorta here.