What a difference a year makes! Alexia fights back

Photo Ian Robinson'Alexia Crane, two, who was clinically dead for seven minutes last Christmas when her organs failed due to dilated cardiomyopathy. Her family is planning a big Christmas to make up for having spent last year on life support machines in hospital'pictured with her mum, Melissa and brother Cameron, eight
Photo Ian Robinson'Alexia Crane, two, who was clinically dead for seven minutes last Christmas when her organs failed due to dilated cardiomyopathy. Her family is planning a big Christmas to make up for having spent last year on life support machines in hospital'pictured with her mum, Melissa and brother Cameron, eight
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This tough toddler has something extra special to celebrate this New Year – 12 months since she survived a heart attack.

Alexia Rose Crane has had a special ‘heart party’ this month, to mark just how far she’s come since her organs started to shut down and she spent weeks in hospital, in December last year.

At just 14-months-old the youngster, of Wensleydale Avenue, Grange Park, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy – a condition where the heart muscle weakens, making it harder to pump blood around the body.

Last Christmas her parents, Melissa Kimpton and Joseph Crane, were told to say their goodbyes as Alexia was hooked up to machines to keep her alive for nine days.

Their ‘miracle baby’ pulled through though, and this Christmas she celebrated like any other cheery two-year-old – spoilt with presents, of course.

The New Year is a time to celebrate her older brother’s bravery too, after eight-year-old Cameron missed out on festive traditions while his mum travelled back and forth to hospital last year.

Mum Melissa, 26, admits to perhaps having gone “overboard” but had vowed to make this year one to remember.

She said: “We’ve went a bit overboard buying presents.

“But last year Cameron missed out so I felt bad.

“He didn’t moan once though, so he really deserved it this year.

“This year was about rewarding Cameron for how good he was.

“Lexi can be spoilt, because I look at her and feel guilty for what she went through and there was that chance that I might have lost her.

“We’d been so excited for last year too, as the first one Alexia would really remember. It was ruined. We all went without.

“We spent the 25th in intensive care.

“Everyone else was out there celebrating but we were just wondering if they’d be able to take Lexi off the ventilator, we just felt constant worry.”

The family still had to fit in medical appointments during the festive season though, including a trip to see a neurologist and to see the orthopaedics team.

They’re a reminder of how far Alexia has come in 12 months though.

Melissa said: “There have been lots of milestones this year – taking her first steps, her second birthday, and now her heart anniversary.

“Everyone says how far she’s come, and you wouldn’t think in a million years that this time last year we were having to say our goodbyes to her.

“Compared to that life is so different now.

“I just want her to be a normal, healthy girl.”