Toddler cheats death as killer conditions save his life

Little Conner Breslin who survived two killer conditions smiles with mum Claire McCormack
Little Conner Breslin who survived two killer conditions with mum Claire McCormack

Relieved parents saw their son survive almost certain death after two killer conditions actually saved his life.

Little Conner Breslin was in danger of drowning because the reversed arteries in his heart were flooding his lungs with blood and depriving the rest of his body of oxygen.

But by a million-to-one chance two holes in Connor’s heart allowed just enough oxygenated blood to escape for him to survive.

Little Conner Breslin who survived two killer conditions smiles with mum Claire McCormack
Little Conner Breslin who survived two killer conditions with mum Claire McCormack

The 15-month-old, who has ‘complex transposition of the great vessels (TGV)’, has now beaten the heart-stopping odds against him and is back at home.

The youngster even took his first steps last month – a day his parents never thought they would see.

Conner’s proud mum Claire McCormack, 26, said: “Normally holes in your heart would be a terrible diagnosis, but it’s amazing to think that it’s that very thing that saved him.

“If the holes had not have been there other defect would have killed him.

“I have been told the odds of him having both the conditions are very slim and a good job he did.

“He’s a little miracle. To look at him now you would have no idea. He’s bounced back incredibly well.”

Conner was born a normal happy baby with no complications in June last year.

Claire and his dad Shaun Breslin, 26, took him home to North Lanarkshire, Scotland, but when he was five weeks old the little tot stopped eating.

Conner was admitted to Glasgow’s Yorkhill Royal Hospital for Sick Children with a suspected viral infection, but was rushed into intensive care just two hours later, after being diagnosed with TGV.

The young boy was suffering from reversed arteries, which instead of pumping blood from his heart into his body, were directing it into his lungs, causing them to fill with blood.

In July last year, Conner underwent a gruelling eight-hour operation to widen the holes and allow more blood through.

Since then, the little lad has had open-heart surgery twice more, including a 12-hour procedure in February, where surgeons switched his reversed arteries and closed the holes in his tiny heart.

Claire added: “The idea of the first operation to widen the holes was to allow as much oxygenated blood to get into his body through the holes as possible, so he was as strong as he could be for his big operation to fix the defects.

“I was a nervous wreck throughout all his surgery. It doesn’t matter how strong you think you are, watching your child be put to sleep for an operation is the worst experience in the world. I remember just breaking down and crying.

“During the big operation he went into surgery at 8.30am and didn’t come out until 9pm.

“After the operation he was so swollen I didn’t even recognise him. The only thing that identified him as my child was the birth mark on his calf

“There were so many tubes it was like spaghetti junction.

“He’s such a fighter. The doctors said they gave him enough medicine to sedate a donkey for three days but after just one he started kicking. They just couldn’t get him to sleep.

“He became quite well known on the ward for his night time noise.

“From that the nurses said they knew he was going to be fine.”

Conner was expected to stay in hospital for over two months to recover, but just a week and a half later he was ready to leave, to the amazement of nurses on the ward.

He has since made a miraculous recovery and took his first steps last month.

Claire said: “We are not religious at all but I believe he is a miracle. To go from being told he may not make it through the night to taking his first steps is amazing.

“He might be a little smaller than other children as he’s growing up but other than that he’s completely normal.

“And by the way he screams there is definitely nothing wrong with his lungs.”


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