A four year-old twin boy from Sheffield has survived two major heart surgeries and will start his first year of school in September alongside his brother.
Non-identical twins, Nicholas Wareing, along with brother Jonathan, were born prematurely at 33 weeks at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). Older twin, Nicholas, was born with a congenital heart defect.
The defect meant he had transposition of the great arteries, where the two main blood vessels leaving the heart (the pulmonary artery and the aorta) are swapped over. This meant that two separate circuits were formed; one that circulates oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the body, and another that re-circulates oxygen-rich blood from the lungs back to the lungs, causing low oxygen levels.
As a result, Nicholas has undergone two major heart operations – one at just hours old and another at two years-old to insert an artificial tube to reroute the blood flow to his heart. Despite this, Nicholas and his brother Jonathan will be popping on their school uniforms and starting Westways Primary School in September.
Dad Roger Wareing said: “Nicholas and Jonathan have got a real thirst for knowledge, so they’re very excited to be starting school. They’ve seen all the new toys they’ll get to play with there, and Nicholas is particularly excited by the train tracks. They know that things will be different at school, like having to put up their hands to ask questions, but they’re really looking forward to starting. It’s a time of real excitement for us.”
Throughout his hospital treatment, Nicholas’ family have been supported by The Sick Children’s Trust with free accommodation at Eckersley House, located just minutes from his bedside. The charity supports families with seriously ill children in hospital across its ten ‘Homes from Home’ accommodation nationwide.
Mum Mary said the twins were close, but had their own personalities and added: “Eckersley House was fantastic and made a huge difference. It really helped keep a sense of normality in our family when we were so far from home. Nicholas will continue to go to LGI for annual check-ups and will need another surgery at seven or eight years-old when the artificial tubing needs to be replaced by a bigger one. We hope to be able to be supported by Eckersley House then, especially as Jonathan will be older and will want to stay with us and be included in the process.”