Well what can I say, you guys are all totally amazing!!! The photos really do not do it justice. Lauren absolutely loves it, even at 17 she's still a sucker for kitties lol! Thank you to everyone who stitched for us, this will always be treasured.
Lauren was born at
12.03am on Thursday 25/09/1997,10 days early, weighing 5lb 15oz . We had a normal pregnancy and nothing was found at any scans or check ups. We stayed in hospital for 3 days and still nothing was picked up.(Lauren is my only child, I took the decision not to have any more after Loz's diagnosis)
We went home but over the following weeks Lauren refused to feed, lost weight and was constantly ill. We called the on call doctors out multiple times but I was told I was just an overprotective first time mum, and that Loz had a cold. Finally after 10 weeks I convinced our GP to listen to her heart, we went straight from the GP to the local hospital and from there via ambulance to Alder Hey.
Lauren was diagnosed with Tetrology of Fallots with severe pulmonary stenosis. On futher investigation it was found that Loz had complex TOF but also Large MAPCAs & a large Coronary Fistula.
The MAPCAs & the CF had created a complete heart bypass which was keeping her alive.
Over the next 12 months Lauren had multiple cardiac catheters to try and keep the Pulmonary arteries open.
At Easter 1999 Lauren had her fist major op, a BT shunt. Again Lauren had multiple cardiac catheters on he PAs over the following few years.
February 2001 Lauren had her first Open Heart Surgery, where they 'fixed' the TOF and capped off the MAPCAs & CF.
But Laurens PAs refused to grow and she became increasingly ill again.
At Easter 2004 following multiple failed catheters Lauren had OHS to completely reconstruct her PAs, conduit and valve.
Mid way through 2005 Lauren started to become very ill but we again found ourselves in the position of noone beleiving us. After 6 months of Lauren being extremly ill she was finally diagnosed with Endocarditis and she was admitted to hospital for 4 months, then she had to convaless at home for 3 months.
In the time it took for the endocarditis to be diagnosed is had severely damaged Laurens pulmonary arteries, valve, conduit & wall of the heart. She was diagnosed with right bundle branch block. And once again we found ourselves with a child that was constantly ill.
In Feburary 2012 Lauren had her 3rd OHS, where they again reconstructed the pulmonary arteries (partially) and removed all the damaged parts. Lauren now has a fake conduit and valve, and the wall of the heart is still week but has been patched.
However after this surgery Lauren contracted a severe infection and we were in hospital for 4 months. Once home Lauren had an extremely slow recovery, she was off school for a total of 12 months and part time for a further 6 months. Not only was she very ill she also so began to suffer from depression and anxiety. Her Asbergers up until this point had been managable but with the effects of all Laurens new issues certain traits became uncontrollable, her obsessive side took over and her social skills disappeared.She has also just been confirmed as having Auditory Processing Disorder.
As you can imagine the last couple of years have been extremely difficult, Lauren is currently on various medications, she sees a psychologist regularily and attends multiple hospital clinics for help with the pain and illness she still experiences.
Through all of this Lauren has covered 2 years worth of GCSE work in the space of 8 months! with the help of some amazing teachers she has just passed all of her GCSEs.
While she still has a lot of struggles a head of her I am incredibly proud of all that she has achieved. She is one in a million :)