Lesmahagow family grateful for their son’s life

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The Lorimer family from Lesmahagow have one very special reason for backing Yorkhill Children’s Charity Christmas Appeal.

Little Hamish Lorimer was born on February 1 at Wishaw Maternity Unit, almost two weeks past his due date.

Jim and Ailsa were ecstatic to meet their first child. But their joy was short-lived.

Ailsa explained: “It became quickly apparent that something was very wrong.

“Hamish was born blue and not breathing.

“He was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He had his heart scanned but they weren’t able to find any cardiac problems, at that point.”

During a live link scan between the hospital in Wishaw and the former Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill, the problem was finally discovered.

Hamish had a rare, life-threatening congenital heart condition known as Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Drainage (TAPVD).

TAPVD stops the heart from functioning properly by sending oxygenated blood from the heart back into the wrong collecting chamber.

Immediately, Hamish was transferred to Yorkhill’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It took over two hours to prepare him for the 30-minute journey

Ailsa said: “At just over 24 hours old, we were told that our boy was critically ill and would need open heart surgery, via bypass, to save his life.

“The team that looked after Hamish in the NICU were extraordinary and managed to stabilise his condition.

“At three days old, still ventilated and paralysed from the drugs, we held him for the first time – a truly precious moment for both of us.”

Unfortunately, during a routine brain scan, it was discovered that Hamish had developed a blood clot on his brain. He’d had a paediatric stroke, either during his birth or shortly afterwards.

Ailsa said: “Thankfully for Hamish, the stroke was small and we were told it shouldn’t have long-lasting damage.”

The clot forced the surgery to be rescheduled and Hamish eventually entered the theatre a little over three weeks of age.

On the “most nerve-racking day” of his parents’ lives, Hamish underwent surgery – and it was a success.

Ailsa added: “Six days after his operation and a month after he was born, we finally got to take Hamish home.

“Every single member of staff we encountered in Yorkhill was extraordinary; each person was instrumental in saving Hamish’s life.

“To those incredible people, we will be forever grateful.”

Since then, the Lorimer family has raised more than £14,000 for the new Royal Hospital for Children.