Bridgnorth girl's appeal for tragic baby brother

When Fern McGill turns six her thoughts will not be on how many presents she gets.

Bridgnorth girl's appeal for tragic baby brother

Because Fern will be shunning gifts and instead plans to raise money for two charities in memory of her late brother, Myles.

Myles was born with a rare heart condition on December 7, 2007, which meant only half of his small heart was working.

He had open heart surgery at just six days old to extend his life – because Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome cannot be cured – but sadly died at the tender age of 17 weeks.

But his memory lives on in his five siblings - and now Fern has decided to host charity birthday party on Sunday at St James' Hall on The Grove, Bridgnorth, in Myles' memory.

Proud mother Sally of Wellmeadow, Bridgnorth, said: "Our daughter will be six years old on September 22 and she has requested for her party that whatever kind of gifts or money she receives she can donate it all between two charities, Birmingham Children's Hospital and Little Hearts Matter.

"I have contacted both charities, which have kindly sent us banners, balloons and stickers for the special day and collection tins.

"Myles was born with half a working heart with the left ventricle under-developed.

"Most babies have four chambers in a normal heart but Myles only had two on the right side and none on the left.

"It meant his oxygen levels were always low due to the blue and red blood mixing and not enough oxygen getting around the body.

"He was always blue in colour and had his first major open heart surgery at six days old.

"While in hospital it was touch and go. He was on a ventilator breathing for him and hooked up to 11 machines from blood to all different medications just to help him live.

"We couldn't fault the staff at the hospital as they did all they could to nurse him throughout."

Myles was transferred back to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital where he was born, and the place where mother-of-five Sally trained as a nurse.

Sally, with the help of her children Laura Cook, 20, Lauren Cook, 18 and Hannah Cook, cared for him the best she could and he was finally able to come home after two months in hospital.

Sally, who is married to Craige and is also a mother to Fern and two-year-old Jacob McGill, said life was hard for Myles – and then he ws rushed back into RSH with a collapsed lung.

"Without my other children it would have been harder. Life was very hard for Myles as we were not allowed to take him out unless he was under a rain cover due to the spores carrying germs, which were life threatening for him."

Myles was then rushed back into RSH emergency unit on March 22, 2008, after his lung collapsed due to blood clots.

Doctors fought hard to save him but had to put him into an induced coma.

He was transferred back to the children's hospital where he underwent an emergency four-hour operation.

Surgeons could not inflate the lungs so they took him back down theatre and over a period of four days carried out another three operations to try and correct the problem.

Sadly, none of the operations helped and Sally was called into the hospital April 5, 2008.

"I had to decide what was best for Myles, which I knew deep in my heart it wasn't fair on him as he had been through enough," said Sally.

"I wanted to give him that chance in life from the moment I found out about his condition during the 20-week scan.

"I told the consultant my son needed to be at peace. She put her arms around me and said through her tears it was a very brave thing to say.

"All I could say was thank you for everything they did for him. I was so very grateful.

"I called my family and my ex-husband who came over to say their last goodbyes.

"The staff put Myles into a side room where we could all be around him in privacy and we could spend our last moments together.

"When we were ready the doctor and nurses switched off his life support machine and he passed away peacefully in my arms. Afterwards I bathed Myles, clothed him and carried him down the Rainbow Ward, the chapel of rest, where myself and ex-husband stayed for hours not wanting to leave him alone. But sadly we had to let go."

Sally took part in the Bridgnorth Walk in 2008 and raised £3,150 towards buying new machines at the hospital.

Now the community is rallying round her daughter's birthday party and the celebration of Myles' life.

"I have a wonderful lady from Hair Force in High Town donating a birthday cake," said Sally."We are in need of a bouncy castle and some fairy cakes for the event. If anyone would like to help towards making this happen we would be very grateful."

To get in contact with Sally call 07528 877221.

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