When Danielle Morgan was born with transposition of the greater arteries, she was rushed into surgery for a major operation at 6 weeks old to try and save her life. Her family were told that her life-limiting condition meant she may not reach her first birthday, and to “be prepared” for the worst.
Now, 27 years later, Danielle from Port Talbot, has defied all expectation and has become the first ever life-limited service user at Tŷ Hafan to become a mum — something that we’re over the moon about at the hospice!
Danielle still has a life-limiting condition. She needs routine medication at specific times of the day to keep her heart condition as stable as possible, and even though she can live a ‘normal’ life like any other new mum, still needs to keep a close eye on her health.
Falling pregnant really did feel like a miracle milestone for me; it was something that I was never 100% certain would be able to happen with my condition. It was such a scary time, but nurses and doctors monitored me very closely throughout the pregnancy and thankfully there were no major issues that made it that different to anyone else’s.
The fact that I’ve been able to give birth to the most healthy, beautiful boy is just life-changing. He’s had cardiac tests and he’s passed every one of them!
Despite loving being a mum, it is particularly tiring for me. I still have to be careful in day-to-day life because I get out breath very easily; even just walking to the car from my house can be a challenge some days.
Every day is different for me with my condition, so I rely on my partner, Kane, to support me with the physical but also mental challenges that come with it to ensure baby Frankie always has the very best care and attention. Kane is also severely deaf and needs an operation to help improve his hearing so we’ve really learnt to help each other overcome new challenges together.
I feel quite special to be the first ever person who graduated from Tŷ Hafan to become a mum. I still have such a connection to the hospice because it was such a huge part of my life for 20 years. I’m still in regular contact with the staff and always will be. I feel so grateful that even all these years after graduating I’m still able to pick up the phone to them for advice and support.
Once Frankie is a little older and I’m able to be away from him for a while, I’m due to go through some major heart surgery to help my condition. If all goes well it could be life-changing and could improve my condition significantly.
Lynne Phelps, our Play and Therapies Lead, said:
When a young person reaches the age of 18 and graduates from our services, that alone is an incredible moment, let alone going on to have a healthy baby.
We can’t help but feel so proud of Danielle. Her story is so inspirational and we feel so humbled that we were able to support her at such a pivotal, and at times, quite uncertain time in her life.
We remember Danielle when she first came through the doors of Tŷ Hafan at the age of seven. She was one of the first children to come to Tŷ Hafan when we opened in 1998. Now in our 21th year of service, we can’t think of any better news than to hear that one of our first ever service user has become a mum.
Tŷ Hafan still supports Danielle, despite having graduated from the hospice over 10 years ago. Helping young people transition into adulthood and into adult palliative care is a huge part of what we do, and we’ll continue supporting for as long as they need us.”
I’m sure you’ll join us in wishing Danielle, her partner and beautiful baby Frankie all the very best as they start their new venture together as a family!
P.S. how gorgeous is Frankie?!