THE parents of a two-year-old girl who has already undergone five heart surgeries, are hoping to raise awareness about Coronary Heart Disease during National Heart Month in February.

At two days of age, Chantelle and Samuel Marshall’s daughter Sophia had a cardiac arrest at home in Wychbold, with doctors surprised she survived the journey to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Days later, she was strong enough to come off life support, and Mrs Marshall said doctors informed them she had “several very serious and complex cardiac conditions”.

These include complete atrioventricular septal defect (CAVSD), meaning she does not have four chambers in her heart, as well as Left Atrial Isomerism, three large holes in her heart, a moderate size leak in her valve and a right bundle branch block.

“At 11 weeks of age, Sophia needed emergency surgery again on her heart, as our consultant found Sophia was growing a blockage in the middle of her heart,” explained Mrs Marshall.

“After five-and-a-half long and scary months, Sophia was finally discharged from hospital and she was able to come home with us.”

Last summer, the toddler was scheduled to undergo CAVSD repair surgery, but, following this, it was apparent Sophia’s body was refusing the new circulation and she went into right-sided heart failure.

After a “scary week on intensive care, with the consultants calling Sophia a ticking time bomb” her mum said she had to undergo another two major heart surgeries – three in three weeks.

Mrs Marshall explained: “The last surgery was really touch and go, she was so poorly, and her heart was so unpredictable, the odds really were stacked against her. We were even asked if we wanted to stop all medical treatment and take her to our local hospice. Yet she continued to fight, so did we.”

She said, her daughter’s “heart is still very poorly and she will need further surgery throughout her life, yet she is the happiest little girl you could ever meet”.

“We have been so grateful we got to celebrate her second birthday a few weeks back, as a few months ago we were in such a darker place. We are really keen to raise awareness for CHD and give hope to other families in a similar boat to us.”