Birthday joy for baby who survived against all odds

Willow Seagrave with mum ChloeWillow Seagrave with mum Chloe
Willow Seagrave with mum Chloe
The Melton family of a baby girl who survived against all the odds are preparing to celebrate her first birthday.

Willow Seagrave was resuscitated for 50 minutes after a cardiac arrest when she was just three-weeks-old and her heart only works at 20 per cent of capacity.

Parents, Cole and Chloe, have been told they ‘must wrap their daughter up in cotton wool’ and they will cherish Willow’s first birthday on Saturday April 13.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mum Chloe said: “We are so happy we get to celebrate her first birthday as we can never be sure on the future.

Willow Seagrave, who has recovered from serious heart issues in her young lifeWillow Seagrave, who has recovered from serious heart issues in her young life
Willow Seagrave, who has recovered from serious heart issues in her young life

“The hardest thing is we just don’t know, so we need to live life to the full.”

It has been a tough 12 months for the family since her cardiac arrest, which happened at Leicester Royal Infirmary, where Willow had been referred to after projectile vomiting.

Medics performed CPR for 30 minutes initially and she regained consciousness for 10 minutes. Her condition crashed again, though, and she had to have CPR for a further 20 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“At one point, they said they would try for five more minutes and she came back after three. I am so grateful they gave that extra five minutes,” said Chloe.

Willow Seagrave, who is approaching her first birthday, with mum ChloeWillow Seagrave, who is approaching her first birthday, with mum Chloe
Willow Seagrave, who is approaching her first birthday, with mum Chloe

"We were totally in the right place at the right time and if not, she wouldn’t be here today.”

Willow stayed in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit (CICU) for eight days and an MRI scan revealed she miraculously did not have brain damage despite being deprived of oxygen for almost an hour.

Shortly afterwards, the little girl then had to have a Hickman procedure, a risky treatment for heart patients after being rushed back to hospital when she began projectile vomiting again.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As Willow recovered in hospital, Willow’s parents met Katie Brant, a nurse at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.

Chloe explained how the charity has since transformed the lives of her young family: “We were offered a week of Stepdown Care after leaving hospital and before going home, and that really helped us as I was worried about being on my own with Willow.

“At Rainbows we were able to be a family again. All three of us slept in the same room and that was amazing, it was so nice to be together.”

She added: “Willow also loves Rainbows, she is non-stop smiles when she is there.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We can’t take her to swim anywhere because temperatures are too cold and will shock her, but the hydrotherapy pool at Rainbows is so warm and Willow loves to go swimming.

“We also go to baby group, coffee mornings and parent and carer group. These all really help me not to feel isolated and it is so nice to have adult conversation with others who understand.”

Willow, who has Dilated Cardiomyopathy, has eight lots of medication 14 times a day and sleeps a lot.

Doctors are amazed at how she is doing and Chloe and Cole continue to be grateful for every day.

Click HERE to find out more about Rainbows.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.