Parents of youngest baby in the UK to have heart surgery find closure after inquest

Darlington and Stockton Times: Jasmine Carr with her family Jasmine Carr with her family

THE parents of the youngest baby in the UK to undergo heart surgery say they finally have closure following an inquest into her death.

Baby Jasmine Carr, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, was born on September 26, 2011, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and was given a life-saving operation when she was just 17-hours-old.

But sadly, after five months of fighting, she died in February at Newcastle Freeman Hospital, where she was being treated for a lethal infection.

At an inquest on Tuesday (November 13), Newcastle coroner, Karen Dilks, recorded a verdict of death by natural causes, and said Jasmine had died of multiple organ failure attributed to her heart condition and problems with her heart's right ventricle.

Speaking to The Northern Echo today (November 14), her father, James Carr, said the inquest had been an awful ordeal, but had given the family closure.

“It has been really hard since Jasmine’s death, especially as we have had to wait quite a long time for the inquest,” he said. “We have two other children and I think, as a family, we are starting to come to terms with what has happened.”

The inquest heard how Jasmine had been rushed into theatre just hours after her birth to treat the under-developed side of her heart. The condition affects one in 5,000 babies and Jasmine was given only a 15 per cent chance of survival.

Dr Margarita Guillen-Ortega, a consultant involved in Jasmine's care, said the baby would not have survived without surgery and had been “extremely high risk” before the operation.

Two days later, Jasmine suffered a cardiac arrest and had to spend three days on a machine that took over her heart and lung functions.

Further complications followed, including a build-up of fluid between the lungs and in other parts of the body. Doctors carried out a rare procedure and Jasmine appeared to recover for a short period, but sadly her health deteriorated.

She was pronounced dead on February 21.

Mr Carr and his wife Joanne expressed their thanks to the “excellent” staff at Newcastle Freeman Hospital.

“We want to thank them for everything they have done,” said Mr Carr. “The staff were absolutely fantastic and could not do enough for us.”

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