Festive trip for babies with congenital heart disease

Baby Zoya Ikram and mum Agnieska enjoyed an afternoon in Chelsea Garden CentreTwo babies who had been in Royal Brompton since birth with hypoplastic left heart syndrome were able to take a trip out to Chelsea Garden Centre to look at the Christmas trees. 

Seven-month-old Zoya and two-month-old Levi enjoyed looking at the brightly-coloured flowers and Christmas lights. Feeling the coll autumn air was a new experience for both babies, who immediately fell asleep after going outside. 

Levi's mum Estera Enculescu said: "It's good to get outside. When we were upstairs in the hospital he was crying, and as soon as we came out he fell asleep. 

"It has been hard being in hospital all these weeks. They worked with me during my pregnancy, but nothing prepares you for seeing your baby covered in tubes and not being able to hold him. 

"The support I have had has been great though. I've even been able to start feeding Levi after two months, because of the breastfeeding support they give to the mums here."

Zoya's mum Agnieska Ikram, who had been by her daughter's side in hospital for seven months, said: "It has taken a while to recover and there have been problems but has fought through everything, even a cardiac arrest.

"All the doctors and nurses are really good, but it is still stressful because we are in hospital with our baby. There were moments when she was unwell and I couldn't do anything. If I could give her my own heart, I would. 

"It's lovely to come outside. To just go for a walk to go to the park, just you and your baby...for an hour it feels like normal life."

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