Youngest British baby ever to have heart surgeon now five weeks old, doctors twice counseled an abortion


Given option to abort, couple refused after a scan showed “tiny fighter giving the thumbs-up”

By Dave Andrusko

Message to mum: The ultrasound scan of baby Chanel showing her giving a thumbs-up

Message to mum:
The ultrasound scan of baby Chanel showing her giving a thumbs-up

Still another story of a determined baby and parents who would not “choose the option” of an abortion—in this case twice!

First, the best news. Chanel Murrish, now five weeks old, is Britain’s youngest baby ever to have open heart surgery. That surgery came literally moments after she was born when doctors had inserted a shunt. A second surgery followed seven days later.

Fay Murrish, the mother of two sons, learned of Chanel’s condition when she had a 20-week scan at Sunderland Hospital. Referred to a specialist at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, Fay and Micheal Murrish were offered what the Sunday Mirror described as “their first termination.”

The parents were told their daughter had developed hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition where only one side of the heart can beat properly.

“Before she was born the specialists said she might not survive,” she said. If that wasn’t glum enough, they told Fay and Micheal, “Even then her life expectancy would only be to young adulthood and she would eventually need a heart transplant.”


Chanel Murrish

And then, “I know she wanted to live because she was giving a huge thumbs-up at her scan,” Fay told the Sunday Mirror. “It was like she was telling us everything would be OK.”

But as noted, the parents were again given the “option” to abort. Doctors subsequently found problems with Chanel’s blood flow.

They were told “They could either terminate the pregnancy immediately, give birth naturally and let Chanel die in their arms shortly after birth, or persevere with the surgery,- which they chose to do,” the Daily Mail reported. “There was no way I could have a termination,” Fay said.

Mrs. Murrish gave birth to Chanel, who weighed 7lbs, by caesarian at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

“She has more procedures to come, but has so far gone from strength to strength,” the Daily Mail reported.

Fay, who is 24, said, “Chanel has proved she is determined to live. I’m so proud of her.”

While Chanel remains in intensive care in the hospital, she has met her two brothers: Chase, four, and Cole, 22 months.

“For now we’re living in the moment and enjoying our beautiful baby daughter,” Mrs. Murrish said.