Baby Maisy is on the mend

PUBLISHED: 05:57 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:51 15 June 2010

AFTER a four month ordeal in hospital in which her life hung in the balance, aptly named Maisy May Hope will finally be able to celebrate her first birthday at home. Parents Katie, 30, and Wayne McCollum, 31, of the Rising Sun Farm, Stockland, were overjo

AFTER a four month ordeal in hospital in which her life hung in the balance, aptly named Maisy May Hope will finally be able to celebrate her first birthday at home.Parents Katie, 30, and Wayne McCollum, 31, of the Rising Sun Farm, Stockland, were overjoyed when Maisy came into the world on June 13, 2007. However, their joy was short-lived when only four hours later she became unwell and it was soon discovered she had a heart condition. Diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, a problem with the structure of the heart present at birth, Maisy had her first operation at only 10 days old. Unfortunately, she has had two since and is expected to have another couple later on in life.But her parents are just grateful to have her with them today.Katie said: "Ever since Maisy came into our world it's been crazy - but we wouldn't have it any other way. We call her our little miracle."At one point we didn't think she was going to make her first birthday. But she's quite tough and is doing really well now. "It was a scary, horrible experience when she was in hospital. We were watching her and waiting the whole time, but it is something out of your control. It's the worse thing a parent could go through."She's been through a lot, but is very chilled considering. She's not out of the woods yet but hopefully one day she will be."Maisy now wears a breathing mask at night, which helps force air into her lungs.And a monitor keeps a check on her pulse and the levels of oxygen in her blood.Maisy's parents hope the worst is now over following a scare last October when an operation went horribly wrong. The surgery had to be reversed, otherwise it could have caused Maisy to have a heart attack. As a result, Maisy did not leave hospital until the end of January. Now she is getting better. "We hope she's going to grow out of it, although she'll probably need to have more operations when she's older," Katie said."Considering how sick some of these children are, it's incredible how quickly they get over it. And now it's nice as we can do normal things, like going swimming. "I'd say no matter how hard it gets, never give up hope. You have to believe your child will come home. There is light at the end of the tunnel."As thanks to the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol, where Maisy was treated, Katie will be doing a fundraising parachute jump at Dunkeswell on July 31.Although nervous about her first jump, she hopes to give something back to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Cots and Tots appeal at St Michael's Hospital. For more information and to sponsor Katie, visit www.grandappeal.org.uk Katie said she was also grateful to Ronald McDonal House Charities, which supports families with children in hospital.

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