Maia's Story

When Maia was born six-weeks premature with holes in her heart, she had to be urgently transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for surgery. But weighing just 3lb and 1oz, Maia was dangerously fragile. Her trachea was so narrow that she couldn’t be intubated.

As well as the problems with her heart, doctors discovered that she also had a breathing condition called Long Segment Tracheal Stenosis. At this point, Maia’s heart condition became secondary as the surgeons needed to first fix her windpipe.

Her mum, Meera, says: “The whole thing was unbelievably frightening. It’s the unknown – you just don’t know what to expect. What’s going to happen next? We weren’t prepared for our baby to be in intensive care, no one is.”

Maia was in theatre for almost seven hours, and her life hung in the balance. But because of a pioneering procedure developed at GOSH, the surgeons were able to strengthen her windpipe so that she could breathe.

The surgery was a success. And as time went on, Maia started getting stronger and was soon able to have another operation to repair the holes in her heart.

Meera says: “It was a difficult time for us as a family, but the care Maia received at GOSH was fantastic. All the staff and volunteers at GOSH are so caring and so personable. I never felt alone.”

Now aged 6, Maia is a very energetic and bubbly little girl. She loves princesses, painting her nails and plaiting her hair. “She’s thriving and is so enthusiastic about loving life,” Meera said.


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