Battling baby Willow loses her fight for life

Mum Rachel Broddle with 10 week old baby Willow Butler, facing challenges with a heart defect. Pic Richard Ponter 152712c
Mum Rachel Broddle with 10 week old baby Willow Butler, facing challenges with a heart defect. Pic Richard Ponter 152712c

A Scarborough miracle baby who was born against all the odds has lost her fight for life, her family said this week.

Willow Broddle died at Martin House Hospice in Boston Spa on Sunday at the age of four months.

Last month The Scarborough News reported on her family’s fight to find a donor heart.

Willow was born with severe heart defects and was given one life-saving operation just days after being born.

Doctors rated the chances of her even surviving until birth as so low that her mother Rachel was offered a termination.

Willow recovered and thrived but doctors said that unless she got a donor heart she would not survive a year.

Rachel’s mother has now started a campaign to encourage more people to become organ donors, including backing the ‘soft opt-out’ system where people would decline to be donors rather than sign up.

In a post on the Facebook group she set up for her daughter, Rachel wrote: “She is an absolute inspiration.

“I’m so glad we got the happy four months that we did and although were devastated we couldn’t have seen her in any more pain, there was nothing that could have been done for her because her heart was so complex.

“We know we made the right choices and although I’m deeply sad I feel like she is safe 
now.

“She died peacefully with us around her, it was as if she knew, she wanted to wait until I had her in my arms.

“I just know she’s still with me everywhere I go.

“I am still going to campaign for the opt out system for organ donation.

“Willow didn’t get a heart in time.

“I don’t want that to happen to anybody else.

“It should never have to happen to any parent.”

Willow’s grandfather, Michael Broddle, told The Scarborough News: “We are grateful to have had four months with her and if Willow’s story can save just one life then that would mean the world to us.”

For more information on Willow’s story and to find out about the organ donation campaign visit the family’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Willow-The-Heart-Warrior-Princess.