Southampton: “Miracle Boy” back home after a year in hospital

Boy who had a heart attack at six months old, hospitalized at home after a year

Cairon was just six months old when he was admitted to Southampton Children’s Hospital (Image: PA)

A toddler has been dubbed a “miracle boy” after returning home from hospital for the first time in a year.

Cairon Barry-Edwards was six months old when he was admitted to Southampton Children’s Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Reading, Berkshire.

He was then diagnosed with cardiomyopathy — a rare condition of the heart muscle that makes it difficult to pump blood to other parts of the body.

Due to the severity of the illness, doctors repeatedly prepared Cairon’s family for the worst.

But against all odds, Cairon, now 18 months old, survived and was able to return home after a difficult year in the pediatric intensive care and nursing unit.

At the hospital, Cairon was put on the heart transplant list, but the chances of success were considered slim.

A spokesman for Southampton University Hospital said: “Cairon’s weight and age combined with the likelihood of a donor organ being available and then successfully transplanted meant the odds were against him.”

Doctors refused to give up and an intensive heart failure treatment plan was put in place for Cairon, drawing on the expertise of a team of doctors, nutritionists, nurses and pharmacists.

The plan aimed to find a way to help Cairon gain weight while finding a suitable drug to support his heart condition and give the boy the best possible chance of survival, the spokesman said.


Against all odds, Cairon is finally going home (Image: PA)

Cairon has struggled with weight gain every time he has been switched to formula milk as he has heart failure and severe intestinal distress.

To help the boy, doctors devised a plan to feed him using a method called parenteral nutrition – feeding him directly through his veins, bypassing the digestive system entirely, thus relieving his heart.

“When Cairon started gaining weight, cardiologist Dr. Tara Bharucha began the lengthy process of finding the right drugs for his treatment,” the spokesman added.

“And with the approval of Cairon’s mother, Dr. Bharucha decided to test a new heart failure drug called Entresto that, unlike his previous drugs, is safe to administer at home.”

Boy who had a heart attack at six months old, hospitalized at home after a year

Cairon’s condition meant his parents were prepared for the worst on several occasions (Image: PA)

dr Bharucha said: “Entresto has not been widely used in children and Cairon is believed to be one of the first children under the age of one in the UK to receive it.

“He’s certainly the first in Southampton.”

“It is not suitable for every young patient, but we hoped Cairon would benefit from it and are very pleased with the result.”

“When Cairon first came to us he was a very poor little boy and there were a few moments when I had to speak to his mother about the possibility that he might not survive.

“But he amazed us with his determination and strong will – he really is our little miracle.

“We are all very happy that we can remove him from the transplant list for the time being and finally send him home.”

Cairon’s mother, Shantelle, 40, who hasn’t left her son’s side since the day he was admitted, said: “It’s been a crazy year, a little bit of a blur really.

“I haven’t been home in 12 months and have only seen my other children, Tafari and Ayanna, a couple of times, but you just have to live with it.”

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Justin Scacco

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