Mum raising awareness after beautiful baby was born with half a heart

May 18, 2015 | by | 0 Comments

The mother of a nine month-old baby is already bracing herself for her daughter’s early death after she was born with a rare life-limiting heart condition.

Donna Forrest with her daughter Lilly-Anna who was born with half a heart (Ross Paryy / SWNS)

Donna Forrest with her daughter Lilly-Anna who was born with half a heart (Ross Parry / SWNS)

Little Lily-Anna Forrest was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome which means only one side of her heart is working.

The condition means she is unlikely to live into adulthood and has alreadyundergone two major operations in her short life.

The left side of her heart can’t effectively pump blood to the body, so the right side has to pump blood both to the lungs and to the rest of the body.

Her mum, Donna Forrest, 25, has vowed to do all she can to give her daughter the best possible life and raise awareness of the condition.

But she admits the time limit on Lily-Anna’s life is frightening.

She said: “I always think ‘What will I do when that day comes?’ I don’t know what I will do.

“As a new mum you don’t think you are going to be talking about funeral plans.

“One day she is going to find out and read up and ask me ‘am I going to die?’

Donna, from Preston, Lancs., said: “At first all I did was cry and cry; now she is here I am positive all the time.”

Lily-Anna has already undergone two major operations and faces more as she gets older.

She has been treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Donna, who previously worked in retail, said: “She looks like a normal baby, but she wont be able to do things like PE when she goes to school and she will have to have a strict diet.

“She has to have another operation at three and at seven.”

Donna said: “Initially when she came home she was very blue looking. Now unless you saw the scars you wouldn’t be able to tell.

“She is very happy, always smiling and laughing.”

Lily-Anna’s condition is so severe that Donna does not leave her side.

“She could have heart failure or a cardiac arrest in the night. I have had some training with the hospital so that if something did happen, I would know what to do.

“I have always got her with me.”

Donna and Lily Anna’s father, Michael Cottam, 31, are now fundraising for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the British Heart Foundation.

Donna said: “It’s about raising more awareness. Some of the children with this condition are in pushchairs aged three or four; they cant walk very far.

“They are very poorly. We want to raise money for research to find a cure.”

To find out about their fundraising efforts or to donate to the charity visit

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