News

Boy with half a heart all smiles despite fight for life

LITTLE FIGHTER: Casey Williams and the Bundaberg community is rallying together to give Noah Lammi a big birthday bash. He was born with only half a heart and wasn't expected to live to his first birthday. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
LITTLE FIGHTER: Casey Williams and the Bundaberg community is rallying together to give Noah Lammi a big birthday bash. He was born with only half a heart and wasn't expected to live to his first birthday. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

WHEN little Noah Lammi came into the world, his adorable smile and placid nature gave no hint he was secretly fighting for his life with every breath.

While turning one is a big milestone for most children, it's one doctors said Noah would never reach when he was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, also known as half a heart, a condition that affects one in 10,000 births world wide and only 60% of babies survive.

But the little miracle has beaten the odds and his doting mum Casey Williams is thrilled her little boy will turn one next Monday, an occasion made even more special with the Bundaberg community rallying behind them to throw a party for Noah.

While all seemed well when Noah was born on July 7 last year, things took a turn for the worst at a newborn photography session when he was four-weeks-old.

"I took Noah for his new born photography session with Cassandra Kirk Photography - it was Cassandra who said I should have him checked over. I knew there was something different, but didn't think twice as my private midwife had seen him a number of times," Miss Williams said.

Mrs Kirk, who took on the photo job by chance when she had a cancellation, said when Noah was placed in certain positions, he was breathing quite rapidly and she thought it best to mention it.

"He was struggling quite a lot, deep breaths that didn't seem normal," Mrs Kirk said.

"Noah was also a sleepy baby, very easy to photograph, and so I had to say something."

Miss Williams took Noah to the baby health clinic, who immediately advised she take him to the emergency department who had him flown to Brisbane Mater Hospital where he remained for the next five months.

"It was 3am at the hospital and we were taken into a family meeting and told to prepare for the worst, and to hold him as much as possible as babies who have this condition normally only live between three to five days after birth," Miss Williams said.

"There were many doctors, and as it wasn't picked up until he was four weeks old, we were told there was no chance as they don't do the surgery that late - and here he is about to turn one.

"They showed us pictures of a normal heart and a heart like Noah's. The whole left side was too small, they said. 'Noah's right side has tripled in size as it's doing all the work'."

The specialists gathered for a meeting to discuss plans for Noah.

The family had three choices - the first was to do nothing and he would die within days; the second was to rebuild his heart, which was something no one wanted to do, and the third was a three-stage surgery with only a 60% survival rate.

"It was with luck one doctor agreed to do the three-stage surgery and on August 8, two days after they first picked up the syndrome, Noah had his first open heart surgery," Miss Williams said.

"It wasn't the surgery that scared me the most, more that we could lose him any day. We stayed in Brisbane for five months before Noah could have his second operation.

"In the time there, we were told his heart was so weak and even a cough could kill him, but Noah ended up with whooping cough and was actually the first 'heart baby' to have this, so it was touch and go."

And while some may wonder how she could be so courageous after going through so much, Miss Casey said there was no other choice but to hang in there and make the most of the time she will have with Noah, a timeline no one can predict.

Topics:  editors picks




Family tried to save home but lost it all

Steven and Peter Gregor and their burnt out shed where Steven lost everything he owned.

Caravan and shed destroyed in blaze

Taylor Swift pose sparks Mt Walsh mountain rescue

Stevie Burscough talks about dramatic rescue

Latest deals and offers

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

Kim Kardashian West bemused by selfie 'drama'

Kim didn't expect her naked selfie to cause the stir it did

Alicia Vikander hasn't been home since Oscars

Alicia Vikander "hasn't been home" for nearly nine months.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles