Jade was a much wanted baby and was born by emergency c section at 30 weeks and was rushed straight to Neonatal Intensive Care in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. From a premature point of view Jade was doing really well. But on day 15 Jade had a cardiac arrest and was flown by air ambulance to Yorkhill Glasgow Children’s Hospital who specialized in hearts.
At only 2lbs 2oz Jade was the smallest baby to receive open heart surgery baby. I had never known that a baby could suffer heart disease. Mr James Pollock performed the surgery and told us that the following 72 hours is critical but she was alive. He was / is our hero. Our beautiful Jade was truly a fighter. On day 16 Jade was airlifted back to NICU in Aberdeen and continued to do well. We finally got her home just short of 3 months old, she only weighed 4lbs 10oz but was over the moon to start being a family. For the next year Jade was in and out of hospital for various checks.
Over the years Jade has done really well. At 13 years old she required a couple of operations to fit stents. Jade has 4 Congenital heart defects; Coarctation of Aorta, Bicuspid aortic valve disease, Atrial Septal Defect and some leakage in her pulmonary valve. She also has Connective tissue disease which has already caused her many symptoms. However Jade doesn’t let any of it including her pain stop her.
From age 9 years old she has been doing Shotokan Karate with Jock Calder and Ronnie Watt, her little sister Iona joined at same time. Although Jade no longer can spar at competition levels she still loves doing it and especially her katas. Ronnie awarded Jade last year with the Order of Scottish Samurai and she is now a Chukembushi Warrior.
We have always supported Friends of special nursery and British heart foundation and last year too Jade was awarded the Fighting Spirit award for the whole of Scotland after how she deals and accepts her CHDs, how she keeps fit by doing karate and how she supports and raises money every year for them.
This year Jade wanted to set up a British Heart foundation volunteering group along with our fundraising manager. It became official in May and so far we have had 2 events, did the Aberdeen Kiltwalk, we have been welcomed by two amazing guys Alan Wallace and Alan Leonard from Blast from the Past NE Scotland as their main beneficiary at their Vintage Car Show on in July at Thainstone Inverurie. Where we are had a BHF stall and our mascot Hearty was there.
Jade wants to be a neonatal nurse and in her words ‘Give back the love and care that was shown her’. So proud of her and will always hold a special place in our hearts for all the Drs, nurses, paramedics, pilots who helped save Jade but especially Mr James Pollock our hero. Retired now but got the privilege of meeting him again, getting a hug and Jade was always the smallest he had ever operated on and seeing Britains smallest with her heart hero is a day I always treasure.
For more information about how to help raise funds and awareness of congenital heart disease Click here.