Tommy Armitage had to undergo open-heart surgery when he was born so that a stent could be fitted to help mitigate the impacts of Tetralogy of Fallot, which affects the blood flow through the heart
Image: Beckie Armitage)
A baby boy is so fragile that a common cold landed him in hospital for two weeks.
Soon after Tommy Armitage was born in December 2019 at Oldham Hospital, he had to undergo open-heart surgery to insert a stent.
The tiny mental mesh works to keep an artery from closing or narrowing in the baby's heart, Liverpool Echo reported.
Just two months later, Tommy had to go back under the knife for a more extensive surgery where they discovered that part of his heart was "knackered".
Tommy's mum, Beckie, has opened up about what it was like looking after the newborn, who has a congenital defect called Tetralogy of Fallot which affects the blood flow through the heart.
The student nurse had been told when she was 18 weeks pregnant that Tommy would need an operation in his first year which would resolve the problem for good.
"When he was born it was a lot more complicated," she said.
"They didn't know how bad it was until he was born. He was born in Oldham, then taken to St Marys in Manchester but the consultant then spoke to Alder Hey because they won't do the surgery anywhere else.
"We then went to Alder Hey to have his first surgery.
"He had his stent in January. At the time we thought it might buy him some time and he might not even need his other surgery until he's 12 months but it didn't work.
"He was kept in hospital until March when he had another surgery.
"There are four major things that are wrong with the heart and when they opened him up they found that his coronary arteries were wrong, and his pulmonary artery was knackered.
"He had to have like a pipe to replace his pulmonary artery which will now need changing every few years as he gets older.
"He'll be going back to Alder Hey each time for three or four weeks at a time for open-heart surgery."
Going forward Tommy, now two-years-old, is constantly being observed.
Even a common cold is enough to land him in hospital, as he found out in November 2021.
The 28-year-old mum-of-three said: "He picked up a cold in a waiting room when we were sat next to a child who was full of cold and a couple of days later Tommy was really ill.
"We went to the hospital because he was struggling with breathing, his heart rate was through the roof, and his oxygen saturation was really low all because there was so much pressure on his heart.
"He was admitted and monitored and they said it was because of a common cold and he just took it so badly."
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Beckie's best friend Maria Cameron, who she has known since they were both 11-years-old, is now raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charity due to their support during the long stints Tommy had in hospital at Alder Hey.
Maria is taking part in a White Collar boxing match on May 29 with all the money raised through her GoFundMe going to charity.
The 29-year-old said: "It's not nice seeing your friend going through something that you're helpless with.
"You can't do anything to help the situation, all you can do is try and be positive.
"We try and do fun things and have days out with the girls to take her mind off things.
"She's helpless as well and it's her child. It's not nice but you have to support them as much as you can."