A new chance for Hope at Christmas

Getting life-saving heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was the best ever Christmas present for one-year-old Hope.

Hope was born with a heart defect and a very enlarged bladder. Her condition also led to kidney failure. 

When Mum Maria was six months pregnant with twins, she and her husband Balazs were given the devastating news that while one of the babies, Maria, was healthy, the other one, Hope, was very sick and would only live for a few minutes.

Turning point

However, when she was born Hope was stronger than had been predicted. But she was still only expected to live for a few weeks because her kidneys weren’t working. Then shortly before Christmas 2016, she was referred to GOSH and everything changed.

“The doctors sat us down and said: ‘Yes, it is bad but not that bad’,” says her father Balazs.

Maria and Hope are lovely babies. I think they miss each other when they are not together. 

Tests revealed that Hope had Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), which leads to abnormal flow between the two major arteries connected with the heart. Her parents were told she would need heart surgery as soon as possible.

“The doctors wanted her to be at least 2 kilos”, says Balazs, “but she was fading away. She dropped to 1.5 kilos which is really tiny. The doctors said they had no choice: they had to do the surgery.”

"Thankfully, the heart surgery was a success and after that, boom, it all changed for her. She started putting on weight. It was incredible to see her becoming cheeky.”

A special Christmas

By Christmas Day 2016 Hope was strong enough to be allowed to go home briefly to meet her grandparents for the first time. 

“After a few very difficult months, it was really important for us to have that time together.”

Although Hope's sister Maria was healthy, the GOSH team also helped look after her 

“We had a difficult time with Hope and Maria because they have different needs,” says Balazs. “The Play Specialist plays with Maria to give my wife a break. Maria loves the play room.”

Despite the fact that Hope is so poorly, the girls are close to each other. “Maria and Hope are lovely babies. I think they miss each other when they are not together. We kept them in the same cot as long as possible and now they sleep in the same room,” says Balazs.

For a while the hospital was their second home. "We went back into GOSH soon after Christmas and then she went on dialysis four months ago. We go Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other than that we have a normal life."

“When the twins turned one, we had a party on the ward. It was a big milestone. The staff really bonded with the girls. The staff are seeing the twins growing up."

Hope image

Miracle baby

GOSH staff called Hope their miracle baby: “At GOSH they respect her because they say that she recovers really quickly and surprises everyone," says Balazs. "We’ve been told so many times that she isn’t going to make it and here she is doing really well. She’s a fighter.”

Balazs is full of praise for the hospital and the treatment Hope got over the festive period. 

“Anyone who donates should know that it’s going to an incredibly good cause. The doctors at GOSH saved Hope’s life. I have nothing but good things to say about it.”

The next big milestone for Hope is a kidney transplant. “Next year, Hope will hopefully be strong enough for a transplant. She needs to be at least 10 kilos to be considered,” says Balazs.

“The family will spend this Christmas at home together again. Hope will be so much better so we will be able to enjoy it all the more. It’s proper time together as a family, we really enjoy that.”

Support GOSH this Christmas

With your support, we can help the families of seriously ill children, like Hope, be together this Christmas. 

Donate now