Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Boy with a 'Backward' Heart Saved by Major Op; Surgeons Perform Operation for the First Time in the North East

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Boy with a 'Backward' Heart Saved by Major Op; Surgeons Perform Operation for the First Time in the North East

Article excerpt

Byline: By TOM MULLEN

HEART surgeons have carried out an operation for the first time to save a boy of three.

Alec Hutchinson was born with a condition which meant the blood vessels in his heart were 'plumbed in' back to front.

The abnormality, congenitally corrected transposition, left him with little oxygen in his blood and no chance of survival.

But in an eight-hour operation, surgeons at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital performed a double-switch procedure to turn his heart, and life, around.

It was the first time experts at the hospital had carried out the complicated surgery but following its success they will now offer it to other youngsters.

Alec is now recovering at home with parents Lynne Hall and Brian Hutchinson of Dipton, County Durham, who know how lucky they are to have their son back.

Brian, 41, a maintenance engineer, said: "He's back to his old self, bossing everybody around. He's a brave lad.

"He couldn't speak to us for about five days after the operation. He had been kept under anaesthetic for five-and-a-half days. But he soon came round.

"We're just so pleased to have him back. He loves his dinosaurs and he's been flying around on his bike."

Lynne, 30, a nursery assistant, added: "I'm over the moon now it's all over. He's back to his cheeky little self.

"We would just really like to say thank you to everybody who supported us.

Alec's grandparents have been great."

Doctors discovered Alec had the condition when he was just five weeks old.

An initial operation was carried out to improve his condition but the family was told if they had not brought him to hospital it could have been a very different story.

They were told Alec would need the huge doubleswitch operation while he was still very young.

Brian said: "Everyone thought it was just a viral infection at first, but we knew something was wrong.

He was just crying all the time and it was as if he was panting for breath.

"They ran tests and eventually found he had an irregular heartbeat. Then we were told things were bad and he had a hole in his heart."

Alec was taken from the University Hospital of North Durham to the cardiology ward at the Freeman, where the family met surgeon Mr Asif Hasan. …

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