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Tiny Derbyshire baby undergoes life-saving heart surgery

A tiny Derbyshire baby has undergone a life-saving surgery.

Enzo Cancellara was just eight days old when he surgeons performed a vital open heart surgery after he was born with a heart defect.

The tiny boy, who is now three weeks old, has since recovered well, although he faces the prospect of more surgeries as he grows up.

His family have paid tribute to the “miracle workers within the NHS” who spotted the defect weeks before he was due to be born, allowing them to prepare and give him the best chance to survive.

They did this by referring his mother, Nicola, to Leeds General Infirmary for assessment, where staff from Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s perinatal team supported them.

Nicola, said the last few months have been an “emotional rollercoaster” after the defect was picked up at her 20-week scan.

“At our 20-week scan with Chesterfield Royal Hospital, our Sonographer, Jane, picked up a heart anomaly in our baby, and we were referred to Leeds General Infirmary for immediate assessment and review by their specialist team,” she said.

“They looked after us with the support of the perinatal team at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, and I was induced Monday, January 10, with Enzo arriving the day after.

“At eight days old Enzo had open heart surgery to correct the problem and, although he will have to be monitored and have more surgery as he grows, he is now feeding and sleeping well.”

Enzo Cancellara with his father Lucio, mother Nicola and his older brother.
Enzo Cancellara with his father Lucio, mother Nicola and his older brother.

Nicola said she was grateful to all the staff who helped her and her family through an extremely nerve wracking time.

“I want to pay tribute to the teams who supported and cared for us, both at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, within Derbyshire Community Health Services, and also Leeds General Infirmary,” she said.

“When you learn that your child has a problem you feel like everything is thrown up in the air. I am so very grateful to Jane who discovered the problem and every member of the team who accompanied us on what felt like an emotional rollercoaster.

“I don’t know what we would have done without everyone. We saw a different side to the NHS – they are miracle workers.

“They are such lovely people too and it felt like a sign that our consultant, Giuseppe, came from Naples, like my husband Lucio.”

Jemma Cox, specialist perinatal midwife at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said the team was delighted everything had gone well.

“This is such a wonderful example of joined up care at its best,” she said.

“We really do have the best team and this helped to ensure Nicola and her family had a positive and supportive journey despite difficult circumstances.

“We wish them well.”

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