The parents were told that the baby would die two days after birth – and needed urgent surgery
Parents Claire and Mike were excited for the arrival of their son Theodore, but two days after his birth, they were told he urgently needed heart surgery or he would die.
The parents of a seriously ill newborn remember the moment they were told their son needed urgent surgery – or he would die.
Claire Sharples had a normal, healthy pregnancy and couldn’t wait to welcome her son Theodore into the world via a planned C-section. Two days after his arrival, their world was turned upside down when she and her husband, Mike, were told he had a major heart condition.
Little Theodore was transferred from Bolton Royal Infirmary to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in an ambulance, and a week later, when he was just 10 days old, Theodore underwent life-saving surgery.
Claire told the Echo: “He was a very quiet baby and as first-time parents we thought he was great but little did we know his body was struggling.
“My pregnancy was very easy, and I planned a caesarean section for my own health reasons, and it went well. On the second day, during his 24-hour check-up, the nurse discovered that he had a heart murmur and he was transferred to the ICU where we were told that he had Of the four heart problems, the biggest problem is not pumping blood throughout his body. Without surgery, he will die.
“It was a lot to deal with, we had no choice, he needed to have surgery so we were hoping and praying that we would come to Alder Hey because it has the best reputation. We were told there was a room in the hotel. When Ronald McDonald asked them to pack their bags “We didn’t really know what that meant.”
Claire and Mike stayed at the house for three weeks until Theodore was well enough to return home. Theodore is now a happy, healthy five-year-old who enjoys school, sports and reading, and is a big brother to two-year-old Penelope. But Claire and Mike never forgot the support they received from Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey during the difficult first few weeks of Theodore’s life.
Claire added: “It’s a facility you don’t know anything about unless you need it. As much as we were grateful for it, it’s in a very poor state. I remember crying because of the depressing surroundings. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t expect a five-star hotel but you do.” A lot already.
“The staff and volunteers make the house a home, it’s not just brick and mortar. We walked away with a healthy baby and set out to renovate the room to give back so we raised over £10,000, due to coronavirus it hasn’t happened yet it’s not finished but we’re excited to hear about the full refurbishment “
Ronald McDonald House in Alder Hey is to undergo a multi-million pound refurbishment. With the charity turning 30 this year, the official announcement was made at a VIP event on Thursday 14 September. The work is likely to be completed in late 2025.