IVF baby born with ‘half a heart’ has had two ops but may need transplant to save him

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The mum of an eight-month-old, who was born with ‘half a heart’, has spoken about the life saving operation he may need one day

Eight-month-old Arthur Moore, who was born with 'half a heart', may need a transplant to save him
Eight-month-old Arthur Moore, who was born with ‘half a heart’, may need a transplant to save him

A little boy born with ‘half a heart’, a condition which could kill him, may need a life saving heart transplant one day.

Arthur Moore, from Rotherham, is only eight-months-old, but he has already had two heart surgeries.

The first operation was performed when he was just two-days-old.

Arthur was born with a congenital heart condition known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS), which means that he was effectively born with only “half a heart”, his mum said.

Jessica Hellewell was only 20 weeks pregnant with Arthur when she was told about the condition, which will eventually kill Arthur unless he can get a heart transplant.

Jessica, 24, told YorkshireLive: “Arthur was an IVF baby as well, so it was quite a journey to actually get him.

“I had a 20 week scan and was already on my own due to Covid, and they said there’s something not right here at all, so they sent me through to Leeds to have a heart scan.

“That’s when they said ‘your baby has literally got half a heart’, the other side hadn’t developed at all.”

Arthur Moore, eight-months-old, was born with a congenital heart condition known as Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
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Image:

YorkshireLive)

Jessica said that the hospital gave her “options”, which included terminating the pregnancy, but she and her partner Arthur wanted to have “whatever chance he could”.

But the couple still found the news “difficult” to come to terms with and Jessica said that her pregnancy was particularly unpleasant as a result.

She said: “It was very difficult and obviously you don’t know how to deal with things like that, so there were different support groups I joined and I was just trying to get my head around it.

“I remember my pregnancy as quite a bad time, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience at all. We weren’t sure if he’d survive the pregnancy, but I had Arthur in Leeds and he was taken straight to ICU.”

The day after he was born, Arthur had to have the first of three operations on his tiny heart and Jessica said that it was “touch and go” whether he would survive it.

And, unfortunately, the doctors did find more problems with Arthur’s heart which means that, on top of the three operations, he may need a valve replacement, too.

Arthur’s family are thankful for the support they have received by the team at Leeds Hospital and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund
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Image:

YorkshireLive)

Jessica said that keeping Arthur’s heart as healthy as it can be is a “three-step” procedure and he has already had two of the three operations that he will need, with the third coming some time between his second and fourth birthdays.

But she said that, now that further complications have been discovered, doctors do not even know if Arthur will be able to reach his third operation.

Jessica said: “He may even need a transplant, but baby hearts are not easy to get hold of.

“The surgery is palliative, it’s not corrective, Arthur’s heart will never be fixed until he’s had a transplant, if he ever gets one.”

Jessica said that, at the moment, research into Arthur’s condition suggests that he could live into his 40s with his current heart, but this will depend on the outcome of his surgery in a few years.

Despite the uncertain future for Arthur, his family are grateful for the support they have received by the team at Leeds Hospital and the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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