A courageous tot is refusing to be beaten after undergoing two major heart operations.
Tiny Thomas Williams fought back from the brink after his heart suddenly stopped beating at his family’s South Shore home.
His mum Kerrylee Glass, 26, said: “I thought he was dead. I thought he had died right there on my living room floor.”
Thomas, who is just 13-weeks-old, was born with a rare heart condition called transposition of the great arteries, where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart are switched – meaning that blood flows to the lungs and picks up oxygen, but is then pumped back to the lungs instead of travelling around the body.
He was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for life-saving heart surgery just days after he was born on July 10, weighing 6lb 9oz.
But further heartache was to come when, at just eight weeks old, he suffered a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest at his family home on Henson Avenue.
His dad Tom, 23, said: “He’d had his immunisation injections that day so he was a bit under the weather. The doctor said he might be a bit ill so we thought it was normal that he wasn’t himself.
“We went to put him to bed and as Kerry put him in his basket he had a little whinge and the next thing we knew he just held his breath and didn’t let go.
“He was turning blue and stiff. I took him outside to get him a bit of fresh air hoping it would help, but it didn’t.
“I started screaming for someone to call an ambulance and our neighbour came out with her phone.
“I was screaming ‘he’s not breathing, he’s not breathing’.”
Tom performed CPR on his son for two minutes while he and Kerrylee waited for paramedics to arrive.
Tom said: “When the paramedics took over I thought since they know what to do they would bring him back, but for a good five minutes there was nothing.
“I was running in and out of the house in a panic.”
Thomas was finally revived when paramedics applied three strong electric shocks to his chest with a defibrillator, and injected him with adrenaline.
Kerrylee said: “I hardly remember what happened. I just went into auto-pilot.
“Even the paramedics said they had never seen a baby come back from cardiac arrest like he had. He was awake and crying when they took him into the ambulance. They said it was a miracle.”
Thomas remains in intensive care at Alder Hey, where doctors hope he will make a full recovery.
Full-time mum-of-two Kerrylee said: “There was a problem with one of his arteries. It wasn’t pumping blood properly.
“He’s still on oxygen because he’s struggling to breathe on his own. He’s damaged a nerve to his diaphragm and if that doesn’t heal in a week he’ll need another operation.
“It’s been a devastating time. We haven’t left his bedside once.”
The couple are now looking forward to bringing Thomas home and reuniting him with his doting older sister, Kerrylee’s first child Danielle, 10, though doctors say it may be some time before he is well enough to be discharged.
Mercedes sales support administrator Tom said: “He’s a real little character. All the nurses want to take him home. He’s full of life and very strong – they had to put big gloves on him to stop him pulling the wires out. He’s perfect in every way – he’s just got a broken heart.”
Kerrylee said: “I have faith that he will get through his. He’s come back from cardiac arrest – he can come back from anything.
“Thomas will need check-ups every year for the rest of his life, and he will never be able to have tattoos or piercings. He’ll never be able to run around and play football like the other children.
“We just want to get him home so we can give him the best life possible.”
Kerrylee and Tom have now set up an online fundraiser to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Liverpool, which provides free accommodation to parents whose children are being treated at Alder Hey. The donation page can be found here www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kerrylee-glass/