Baby born with just half a heart ‘full of life’ at almost two years old

A mother who refused to abort her son when medics discovered he only had half a working heart says the now nearly two-year-old boy is “full of life”.

Kate Parnaby was told she could abort her son or let him die at birth when a 16-week scan showed that he had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition where half the heart does not develop properly.

But she chose to give birth to baby Carter, saying: “I didn’t know whether Carter would make it, but I knew I had to give him a chance to live, however small it was.”

‘Smile for everyone’

Three days after Carter’s birth, he underwent his first open-heart surgery followed by his second one last March. He will have his final open-heart procedure when he reaches five-years-old and may need a heart transplant in later life.

I knew I had to give him a chance to live, however small it was

Kate said: “He’s made a really good recovery after the second surgery. After the operation, he was playing with all the other babies his age in there, and he had a smile for everyone.”

She added: “I don’t know what the future holds for Carter, but for the moment he’s loving playing with his friends and making the most of life.”


Earlier this month, it was revealed that a baby who was born so early that she was classified as a “late miscarriage”, is now home with her family after nearly a year in hospital.

Amaya-Rae was born at 23 weeks and her parents were told on eight separate occasions to “say goodbye” as doctors believed she would not survive.

Babies born before the 24-week limit are deemed to be “incompatible with life” meaning the medical team were not legally obligated to intervene, but did promise to do their best to save her.

Also see:

Baby scan

UK’s youngest premature twins celebrate 1st birthdays

‘I wouldn’t change my happy little girl’, says mum who ignored abortion advice

Pro-life campaign witnesses over 80 babies saved as mums turn from abortion

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