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Parents have ‘two wonderful weeks’ with baby boy after he was born with inoperable heart condition

The parents of a baby who tragically passed away two weeks after birth said he will leave a “wonderful legacy” after starting a fundraising campaign for NHS and care staff in his name.

John Connolly, 36 and Elaine Neary, 37, said they had two “wonderful” weeks with son Fionn before he passed away on 4 May.

20 weeks into Elaine’s pregnancy, she and John were told that there were complications due to the structure of Fionn’s heart.

She said: “The pregnancy itself was going pretty well, but we found out at our 20-week scan that there were structural problems with his heart, but it was very hard for them to tell us exactly what”.

“They were giving us a range of options, from saying they could make good repairs to them saying it might not be corrected fully, to not (corrected) at all and unfortunately that’s the outcome we got in the end”.

“So during our pregnancy we just tried to keep hopeful that they would be able to operate, but unfortunately when he was born and they were able to look in more detail, there wasn’t an option for surgery”.

“His heart was complex. We were willing to do whatever option he needed, but we weren’t given that option as his condition was inoperable”.

Elaine has also spoken on the “touching” help offered by NHS and care staff for both parents and Fionn during this time.

“They were really caring. They cared for Fionn as if he was theirs, we really felt like they cared for him, and us too”.

She said the staff made sure the family were able to make “every memory possible” while they were in hospital.

Since starting a crowdfunding page for Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Claire House Liverpool, Elaine said: “Everyone’s been really generous, we didn’t expect that much at all”.

“We were happy to raise whatever we could, so we’re delighted money is going back to the charities and they can help other families as well. The support is lovely and greatly appreciated”.

The page has so far raised £13,955, almost £5,000 more than the original goal of £9,000.

Right To Life UK Spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is heartbreaking that Fionn’s life was cut short so soon, but wonderful that his parents were able to share time with him. We wish Elaine and John the best in their lives after such a heartbreaking loss, and encourage anyone who feels able to do so to donate to their appeal, which will allow these hospitals to give other parents and families the best possible support”.

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