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'Cheeky' Eloise on way to recovery

PUBLISHED: 10:30 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:00 12 July 2010

Eloise Sharpe with her mum, Sharon Stebbings, at their home at Attleborough.

Eloise Sharpe with her mum, Sharon Stebbings, at their home at Attleborough.

THE parents of a toddler who has undergone major surgery have told how the 'cheeky' youngster is recovering well at home.

THE parents of a toddler who has undergone major surgery have told how the “cheeky” youngster is recovering well at home.

One-year-old Eloise Sharpe was born with a congenital heart defect and underwent open heart surgery when she was just 12 weeks old.

She recently returned to Birmingham Children's Hospital for another operation to improve the blood supply to her lungs.

Ellie, as her family call her, has no pulmonary artery, which means the blood supply to her lungs relies instead on tiny collateral arteries.

Surgeons at the hospital were unable to put a shunt in as planned, however they managed to dissect a balloon in the main collateral artery which it is hoped, in time, will give Ellie a better blood supply to her left lung.

Ellie's mother Sharon Stebbings and father Paul Sharpe told how they were looking forward to spending a family Easter at their home in Knevet Close, Attleborough.

Last year the family, including Ellie's six-year-old brother Kallum, spent Easter at the East Anglia's Children's Hospice at Quidenham and at the time they were unsure if Ellie would even reach her first birthday.

Miss Stebbings, 35, who is originally from Norwich, said: “It has been a difficult year but we are another step in the right direction. To think this time last year we were in Quidenham hospice for end-of-life care.

“Ellie has recovered well again, showing her determination and cheek-iness, sitting up in the intensive care unit two days after surgery. The nurses loved her as she is such a character.”

Ellie, who has DiGeorge syndrome, has now also been diagnosed with a neurological condition and is just one of two people in the world to have been diagnosed with both.

Because of this it is difficult to say how the neurological condition will affect her, but at the moment it only seems to be affecting her left motor skills and her parents hope with physiotherapy this will not hinder her.

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