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Five-day-old baby gets pacemaker

A South Wales baby is recovering after having a pacemaker fitted at just five days old after being born with a heart defect.

Liam King's parents were told that he would not survive if he did not have the device fitted to regulate his heart beat. In fact, doctors believed he would not survive 15 minutes past his birth because of a congenital heart block.

The condition was diagnosed while Liam was still in the womb of 21-year-old mother Ann Collier of Cwm, Blaenau Gwent.
Liam's father, Andy King, 26, said: "Doctors told us Liam would have around 15 minutes to live when he was born because of a congenital heart defect which meant the electrical system between the heart chambers wasn't working properly. "It was every parent's worst scenario."

The couple feared the worst when Liam was born prematurely at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children at the beginning of March.

"He didn't cry when he was born and we thought he was dead," said Mr King.

"He was actually sleeping and they gave him a bit of oxygen to give him a boost and he started crying. He was then taken into neonatal care and five days later the pacemaker was fitted.

"We were told if he didn't have it fitted he would die."

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