Brave Bethany celebrates first birthday

IT was a day her parents feared might never arrive as they watched their daughter struggle with a rare heart condition.But now brave Bethany Levett, who almost died within weeks of being born when her heart stopped for 40 minutes, has celebrated her first birthday at a tea party at home.

IT was a day her parents feared might never arrive as they watched their daughter struggle with a rare heart condition.

But now brave Bethany Levett, who almost died within weeks of being born when her heart stopped for 40 minutes, has celebrated her first birthday at a tea party at home.

The little girl's heart stopped just weeks after she was brought home by parents Hayley and Darren, who live in Stowmarket, from the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Doctors in Ipswich had to administer a special drug, which was injected into the bone marrow in her leg, to re-start her heart.


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The first time they tried to inject the drug it did not work and the medication burnt Bethany's leg.

When they attempted the procedure in the other leg, it successfully stimulated Bethany's heart but paralysed her leg from the knee to the toes.

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Bethany was later transferred to London's Guy's Hospital where doctor's fought for six days to stabilise her heartbeat, but had to amputate her leg through the knee.

But over the last 12 months Bethany has made miraculous progress with the help of specialists and doctors.

She is now full of life and had a great time celebrating her birthday on Wednesday with eight friends.

Her parents are now looking forward to her getting her new prosthetic limb.

Mrs Levett, 28, said: “It was a small party with about eight children and we were all very pleased it was here and we had still got her.

“We hope that 2004 cannot be any worse than last year and we're hoping it will be a nice year with her getting her artificial leg.

“She's crawling about now and pulling herself up on to her knees.”

Bethany, who has a three-year-old sister called Chloe, was treated to a new toy car for her birthday, which allows her to sit in it and be pushed about.

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