The Baby Who Was Never Supposed To Make It But Is Still Fighting
At 15 months old, Jack Stevens has gone through more than most people do in a lifetime (including four open heart surgeries), but has survived despite the odds against him. Oh, and he’s absolutely adorable. That too.
Jack was born with a rare condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The nature of the disease leaves the 15-month-old without a properly functioning left side of the heart.
The struggles cute little Jack has been through in his short life are astounding. In addition to the rare heart disorder, the little boy has survived a grand total of nine operations, including four open heart surgeries, suffered a stroke and been resuscitated on three separate occasions. Despite the grave odds against him, Stevens has pulled through and is now home with his parents doing well.
“He’s been through so much in such a short space of time but he’s doing brilliantly,” dad Chris Stevens told the Daily Mail. “We knew about his condition before he was born and he spent the first five months of his life in hospital. He had to have open heart surgery when he was just one week old and he’s had three more since. Jack was only 4 pounds 4 ounces when he was born and the condition has slowed his development. It was really difficult watching him lying in his hospital bed for so long surrounded by machines and tubes. But we knew it was best for him and he’s battled through everything — he’s a real fighter.”
Although his health has improved, Stevens will face challenges for the rest of his life, and his loving parents are aware that he is not out of the woods.
“It’s a lifelong condition so he will need a transplant at some point in his life but surgeons don’t know when yet,” Chris explained. “He’ll never be able to do any real physical activity. Jack had to be given up to 12 different medications up to four times a day but he only needs three different medications via a syringe at the moment. He’s also had his feeding tube removed for the very first time last month which is fantastic. He’s almost walking now and he mumbles all the time so hopefully he’ll say his first word soon. We’re both so proud of him — he’s a very inspirational boy.”
Reports note that most babies diagnosed with HLSH don’t make it through the three required operations, and generally, life expectancy is in the teens. He is finally at home with dad Chris, and mum, Ashton Hodge, 27 and is now on the brink of taking his first steps and speaking for the first time.