LITTLE Lucas Pickett has endured, experienced and conquered more in his first year of life, than most will experience in a lifetime.
When parents Saul and Michelle attended their twenty-week scan, they were hit with the news that Lucas was suffering from major complex heart defects.
Lucas was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) – a condition that affects one in a million,
In essence, Lucas only has half a heart.
Saul Pickett told News Of The Area, “The Obstetrician, at our local hospital gave us her strong advice to terminate the pregnancy, but we had lost our daughter earlier that year at 28 weeks gestation and we weren’t ready to give up on this little fella.”
The Pickett family sought a second opinion, and were given a little more hope, and 50/50 odds of survival.
They were referred to Westmead Children’s Hospital, and started making regular trip for scans and meeting with cardiologists and surgeons.
Saul, Michelle and their then two-year-old son Jaxon, packed up their home in Medowie two weeks before Lucas’s arrival, being told they should expect to need to live close to the hospital for six months after his birth.
Lucas was born in bed 13, on 9 April 2015.
His first operation when he was 2 days old was expected to take somewhere between 6 and 8 hours, the Pickett family were given a pager and sent away to wait for the buzzer.
After three and a half hours the pager went off and with their hearts in their mouths, they raced back to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
It had been a complete success and Lucas was being stabilised in recovery.
His surgeon Dr Orr and the medical team had performed a miracle and were in awe of his progress.
Despite the initial forecast of six months in Sydney, after 1 month Lucas was discharged from hospital to remain in the family unit for another month close to Hospital, and then they were able to bring him home to Medowie.
Lucas has since had a second open heart operation at 6 months of age and will require another in a couple of years to complete the repairs.
He still only has half a heart but it beats very strongly.
By Rachael VAUGHAN