A brave young girl from Warrington will receive an extra special valentine’s treat when she meets HRH The Duchess of Cambridge at Alder Hey Hospital next week. Seven year old Aimee Haswell will be welcoming the Duchess on her arrival to the children’s hospital on Tuesday 14th February.
Aimee was just nine days old when she was rushed by ambulance to her local hospital after she stopped breathing. She was transferred into the care of cardiac specialists at Alder Hey Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a rare type of congenital heart disease, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The left side of Aimee’s heart had not developed properly, which means the right side is under huge pressure to pump blood and oxygen around her body. After four days in Alder Hey’s Intensive Care Unit, Aimee had her first major surgery and remained in hospital for another three weeks. She has since had two further major operations, in 2005 when she was just two years old before another in March 2011.
Along with taking Lisinopril tablets for her blood pressure and Warfarin to thin her blood, Aimee has to visit Alder Hey regularly to receive further treatment.
She has responded really well to her surgery but her future prognosis remains uncertain. There is a possibility her condition will require future surgery and even a heart transplant.
Aimee’s mum Lisa said: “Aimee has always taken everything that hits her in her stride. She has always lived her life like any child of the same age with a normal heart only she has less energy. She’s a very special little girl who is loved dearly and tells us every day she loves us. We very nearly lost her on several occasions when she was first taken ill. Her first eight hours on intensive care were very difficult and the team at Alder Hey performed a miracle in our eyes when they managed to stabilise her.
“Aimee is a miracle! We call her "our little star" and when we received the phone call on Tuesday to say she had been nominated to greet the Duchess, words cannot describe our feelings. Aimee is really excited and is already rehearsing her curtsy. She couldn’t wait to get into school and tell everyone the exciting news! Aimee deserves this more than anyone I can think of. She’s a very strong, brave, happy little girl who has been through so much in her short life. We owe our lives to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The surgeons are amazing, the whole cardiac team are fantastic and everyone is so dedicated, from the consultants to the nurses.”