Bugs put strain on Olly’s heart

Jake Ansell and Lucy Youngs with son Olly.
Jake Ansell and Lucy Youngs with son Olly.
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A BABY with a rare condition has spent the past couple of months in and out of hospital after a string of winter bugs put extra strain on his poorly heart.

Ten-month-old Olly Ansell is now recovering at home, but last week his worried parents had to take him to hospital amid fears he was becoming dehydrated when he fell ill with a sickness bug.

It follows a trip to the accident and emergency department on Christmas Eve when little Olly was suffering breathing difficulties following a cold.

In between the family has been backwards and forwards to Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, where his doctors have been tweaking his medication to manage his condition until he is bigger, when an operation may be necessary to fix his heart.

Olly suffers from ALCAPA, which stands for Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from Pulmonary Artery. It is a congenital cardiac defect which means the heart can be starved of oxygen and begin to die.

Mum Lucy Youngs, who lives with Olly and his dad Jake in Park Avenue, Spalding, said: “It has not been the start to the new year that we had hoped for.

“He seems to be on the mend now but because of Olly’s heart condition any minor illness can put an extra strain on his heart and be potentially life-threatening for him.

“His medication can make him dehydrated and we had to take him to Pilgrim Hospital because we were worried about him becoming even more dehydrated with this stomach bug.”

Olly is now crawling and hitting other developmental milestones, but at just 18lbs 1oz he is small for his age.

If he starts to fall behind with his development, doctors may be forced to operate.

Lucy said: “It’s all a waiting game but it’s down to how well Olly copes. If he continues to develop normally he will just stay on the medication until he’s older, but if it starts affecting him they will think about doing another operation.

“It’s quite worrying and has been a big strain on us but we are just coping the best we can.”

The Guardian revealed last year that Olly was diagnosed with the rare heart defect when he was just seven months old after Lucy became concerned that he was wheezing.

Although the family GP gave Olly a clean bill of health, Lucy’s intuition told her something was wrong and after several more visits to the surgery Olly was sent to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital where he was thought to be suffering from asthma and put on a nebuliser.

When his condition failed to improve he was sent for a chest x-ray which revealed a problem and a heart scan later confirmed Olly had ALCAPA.