Heart surgery

Three-year-old Chippenham’s life saved by heart surgery

A Wiltshire father crossed the finish line of the TCS London Marathon dressed as a giant heart after the British Heart Foundation saved his baby girl’s life.

The father-of-three from Chippenham was one of hundreds of British Heart Foundation (BHF) runners who took to the streets of London last weekend to conquer the TCS London Marathon and raise money for vital research from the Association.

Three-year-old Amalie's life was saved after heart surgery.Chippenham’s father Matt Roberts, who took part in the TCS London Marathon this weekend, dressed up as a giant heart to thank the British Heart Foundation for saving his baby girl’s life.

Amalie is the third child of Matt and his wife Sophie and was born in November 2019 with the condition of transposition of the great arteries and a hole in the heart.

An abnormality was detected when Sophie went for her 20-week scan and specialists were able to diagnose the condition before she was born.

The condition meant that Amalie’s heart would not be able to pump oxygenated blood throughout her body – and Matt and Sophie were told their baby would need open-heart surgery soon after birth if she was to survive.

Little Amalie underwent surgery to get an arterial switch when she was just 18 days old.

Major blood vessels were reversed and the hole in his heart was repaired.

The operation was performed by BHF Professor Massimo Caputo – Professor of Congenital Heart Surgery at the University of Bristol.

Matt said: “We were told our little girl would have a fight on her hands for the first few weeks so we had to deal with the anxious wait. But luckily we had plenty of time to research the condition before Amalie was born. Professor Caputo answered all of our questions and was able to reassure us that everything was going to be fine,” Matt added. We felt that Amalie was in good hands”.

Matt added: “We faced an agonizing wait that day and were waiting on the phone for news. The operation lasted eight hours and we were relieved to receive a call to tell us that everything had gone well. To be able to take Amalie to our home just before Christmas was so special.

So far, BHF London Marathon runners have raised nearly £2million and embarked on cutting-edge research in regenerative medicine, bringing hope to nearly a million people suffering from ailments. heart failure in the UK.

Among those running was Matt Roberts, a project manager from Chippenham, who has raised more than £17,000 for the charity so far through several fundraisers, including the 2022 TCS London Marathon.