A baby boy who has been fighting for his life since the day he was born has survived a major operation in time to celebrate his first Christmas.
Jaxon Tommy Clarke was born at Scarborough Hospital on 27 November.
Soon after he was born and taken to his home in Barrowcliff, his parents noticed something wrong with his breathing, which progressively deteriorated in the space of a few days. After being admitted to Scarborough’s special care baby unit where staff discovered an issue with his heart, Jaxon was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary.
Jaxon’s mum, Kay Walker, said: “When we arrived in Leeds he had a jelly scan and we found out the extent of his problem. There isn’t a label for it because it’s so rare for all these issues to be found on one heart. It was so surreal, our world has been turned upside down.
"We had to make the decision of whether to go ahead with open heart surgery. Some people just say ‘fight till the end’ but it was a really hard decision, we needed to think about his quality of life without being selfish.
“On the Monday doctors had an urgent meeting and because Jaxon was stable and was responding well to tests they said he had a fighting chance so we agreed to the operation.”
The day after, on 11 December, Jaxon successfully underwent a major seven-hour surgery, aged only two weeks.
Although he is now recovering well, he will not be discharged in time for Christmas at home.
“Most people have their newborn and they’re able to take them home straight away and introduce them to the family whereas we’re sat in this little room watching him in his crib, being helpless. It’s not what we expected but we know it’s the right place to be for him. We have a room two minutes away so we’ll be here if anything goes wrong,” said Kay.
Jaxon’s family have set up a JustGiving page to ask for prayers and support at this difficult time. Thanks to the generosity of members of the public, they have so far raised more than £2,000.
“It’s nice to see how many people care. We’re just so exhausted with emotions but people’s support and Jaxon’s strengh is what keep us going. Initially we thought we were only coming to Leeds for a scan so we didn’t have anything with us. The next day we had to buy clothes, shampoo, meals. It all adds up. I’m on maternity but my partner Tom was meant to go back to work two weeks ago so he’s not being paid.
“Jaxon’s life will be full of hospital appointments and hospital stays, even a cold could be life-threatening for him so we’ll have to adapt our lives to care for our son. I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to work so all the money raised will be used to pay our bills and keep us going.”
After recovering from the first open heart surgery, Jaxon will undergo two more operations at six months old and at three to five years old.
Anyone who wishes to help him and his family can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jody-belshaw