Mum was scared when her baby’s first meal turned purple.
At barely three days old, a newborn needed significant surgery after turning purple during her first feed.
Helena Brian, now seven years old, was born with a portion of her oesophagus linked to her trachea, causing food to enter her lungs when she ate.
This meant that the baby girl had to have surgery at the age of three days to repair her oesophagus.
After his child’s mother discovered text messages on his phone, the father strangled her.
Helena has had over 35 procedures since then, and counting.
Helena’s mother, Jo Brian, told The Washington Newsday that when she was born, part of her oesophagus, or food pipe, didn’t meet up in the center and was instead joined to her trachea, or windpipe.
“That meant she couldn’t eat, and anything she ate went straight into her lungs. They discovered out soon after she was born and sent her to Alder Hey for surgery to correct the problem.
“She’s had a number of surgery since she was a kid to expand her oesophagus. She also has VACTERL Association, which is a collection of other diseases, so she’s had a number of additional surgeries to deal with it.
“She is really bold, humorous, and upbeat, and she simply takes everything in stride.” She does become irritated, but she quickly recovers.
“I believe it will have a huge impact on her brother and sister as they grow older since they learned to be compassionate before they could even speak.
“Her brother has had to learn that when a major incident occurs in the family, he must roll with it until it is resolved.
“It was stressful for Adam and me as parents when she was first born, but we have a solid, strong, and caring family around us, as well as a kind, supportive church.
“Neither is the hospital a negative place for us to be. We’re used to the routine and the staff’s friendliness, as well as their competence.”
Helena’s piano instructor and mother, who is also the mother of Helena’s four-year-old brother, Barney, and one-year-old sister, Coralie, described what happened when Helena was four years old. “The summary has come to an end.”