Two month old baby defies odds to survive three open heart surgeries

A baby given a 50% chance of surviving open heart surgery has not only lived through the procedure but also undergone another two life-saving operations.

Iwan Vaughan Brown, who is two months old and from Anglesey has surprised doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool with his recovery according to his mum Emma Louise Brown.

Iwan was born five weeks prematurely after a decision was made to induce him following concerns over his growth.

His mum Emma, said her daughter Mia was born five weeks premature and suffered no problems with her health or development.

Her son Iwan weighed four pounds and 10 ounces when he was born and didn’t need any special care at the hospital at the time.

But when he was 10 days old concerns were raised around his heartbeat.

Iwan’s mum said her whole life “came tumbling down” after being told by the consultant that Iwan had a hole in his heart and would need open heart surgery.

Iwan underwent two life-saving operations.

Because he was so tiny, they didn’t know whether he’d survive the operation and it was a 50/50 chance whether he’d make it.


As a result of his condition, Iwan was sleeping all the time.

He wasn’t gaining much weight, but his mum was told he needed to put more weight on to give him a better chance of surviving the operation.

She said she was “waking him up every two hours” both day and night to try to give him a bottle”

Despite this, she said her son wasn’t putting any weight on.

Iwan went into heart failure and had to go in for open heart surgery sooner than planned, she added.

His breathing wasn’t right and he was just sleeping all the time. He was so exhausted as his heart was having to work so hard trying to keep him alive.


Iwan’s first operation to reconstruct his heart lasted six and a half hours, during which Emma said each minute felt like an hour.

The medics discovered the hole in his heart measured 7.5mm.

Although Iwan survived the operation, a few days later he was rushed back into the operating theatre after they discovered he had a leak from the heart and this operation took another seven and a half hours.


She said the worst part was not being able to hold her son after the operations.

He was just covered in tubes and wires and was on a ventilator, but each time one of them came off I felt we were getting somewhere.


Iwan had to go back to Alder Hey last month to have further open heart surgery as another hole had been found at the back of his heart.

A consultant told me in the 25 years he had worked, he never knew of such a tiny baby that had survived three open-heart surgeries in such a short space of time.Don’t get me wrong – Iwan has been born with a congenital heart defect and faces many more operations, but I’m hopeful he will be OK.


Iwan had two life-saving operations.

Iwan is now at home and his mum said he has gained weight.

He smiles and kicks about, and I’m just so proud of him.I’ve been on auto-pilot since all this has happened. I’m absolutely exhausted and, as I’m a single mum, I would not have coped without my mum, sister and all my friends rallying around to help.


Iwan underwent two life-saving operations

Emma said she also wanted to “thank all the medics and staff at Alder Hey hospital.”

She said “they saved my son’s life.”

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