A NEW mum is raising money to thank the NHS staff who helped save her son's life.

Sophie Mercer gave birth to son Jack in November last year.

At her 20 week scan it was discovered Jack had an issue with his heart.

It turned out to be an one in 100 congenital heart defect call pulmonary Atresia, as well as a large hole between the pumping chambers in his heart.

Sophie and her Partner Ryan Pike were deeply concerned when Jack had to go for open heart surgery at Bristol Children's Hospital when he was just six days old to insert a Sano shunt.

Miss Mercer said: "Surgery went well and after a few days in paediatric intensive care unit he was back on the high dependency unit where he later went down hill due to having a chylothorax that required draining, so he was rushed back down to the PICU struggling to breathe.

"After the fluid from his chest and lungs was drained he later suffered a cardiac arrest lasting eight minutes, and was in PICU for nearly two weeks.

"Jack also had a large blood clot in his right atrium.

"His first surgery was very scary but he got through it and we got home Christmas Eve."

Jack had his second surgery last Tuesday (July 16), where his large hole was closed and a bovine vein replaced the Sano shunt.

Miss Mercer said he has recovered really well and they were sent home last Sunday.

She added: "It's amazing, compared to the first time round.

"Jack takes a lot of medication including twice daily injections for his blood clot and has to go for weekly blood tests.

"He struggled putting weight on due to his heart working harder and weighs 13 pounds now, so he is doing well.

"Before Jack’s second surgery he had blue episodes. One of them meant he was rushed to Bristol and they found his shunt had narrowed and could easily block, so he was in hospital for three weeks prior to his second surgery.

"Jack is doing really well now a nice healthy colour and is trying to crawl and lift himself up.

"He will need further surgery in the next few years and regular check ups."

Also Jack still faces some medical troubles, it is thought he will make a fully recovery and go on to lead a healthy life.

To thank the staff for their efforts, Sophie and Ryan are hoping to raise as much money as possible to pay back the hospital which helped them.

Miss Mercer added: "The plan is to buy simple treats, biscuits, chocolates, maybe wines and cutlery and mugs for the parents room.

"We want to get a couple of toys for the playroom, as there parents room and playroom need an update.

"I’m amazed at what they do, and without them we wouldn’t have jack, they are just so caring, not just for Jack, but for us.

"Nurses came and spoke to us during their breaks, a doctor came and spoke to us before his shift started to apologise for not speaking to us the night before, even though he was rushed off his feet all night.

"They just went the extra mile and we are so grateful to them it’s hard to put into words."

To help the couple show their appreciation visit


. The pair are hoping to raise £500.