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Miracle child is set to turn 21
WHEN she was three days old Sacha Bull underwent emergency heart surgery with just a 50 per cent chance of survival.
The tough infant, who was born with an abnormality on her eighth chromosome causing her to be severely disabled, pulled through but her distraught parents were warned she would not live to celebrate her seventh birthday.
Against all odds, she did and continued to defy doctors’ hopeless prognoses as she reached puberty and adulthood. The miracle child is now on the verge of turning 21 years old.
Her mother Tracey, who cared for her day and night until she moved to a residential complex two years ago, recalled the terrifying hours spent waiting in hospital as surgeons reconstructed her daughter’s tiny heart, not knowing whether she would come out of the theatre alive.
“She went blue when I tried to feed her and she underwent surgery at three days old,” said the mother-of-four from Pinehurst.
“We had her christened just before the surgery. There was only a 50/50 per cent chance of survival. Doctors had not come across her heart problem before; they had to make the surgery up as they went along.
“They had to reconstruct her heart and rebuild the pulmonary drainage system because she was not getting sufficient oxygen in her body.
“We were not expecting her to live this long and didn’t plan ahead. We took it a day at a time.
“She is severely disabled, needs three or four carers with her and has got problems but she is alive and she is happy. I’m really pleased she is still here.”
Sacha was born on New Year’s Day 1993 with part of her brain missing and a heart malformation, probably linked to her abnormal chromosome. In 2006, a metal rod was attached to her spine to prevent scoliosis from slowly suffocating her.
Since then her health has significantly improved and although her mental ability is that of a four-year-old child, she has never allowed anything to get in her way.
“She just never gave in, she did it all herself,” added the 45-year-old.
“I’m very proud of her. When she had surgery on her spine, we were so relieved when she came out. They said she would never walk but now she even dances. She is a very determined young lady. She is loving and funny and has her own individual character. She is a challenge but she is worth every minute.”
Tracey’s husband John’s sudden death in 2006 came as a terrible shock to the family, but she had no choice but to carry on without him with the help of her children Lee, 25, Ryan, 17 and Richelle, 13 and the support of kind-hearted medical staff.
She is hoping to be joined by all of them to celebrate the birthday milestone with Sacha next month.
“I’ve been so lucky with the support that I’ve managed to get,” said the health worker.
“I want them to be there and just say thank you to everybody for their help. It has not been easy on my children and they have suffered but I’ve done my best.”
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