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Battling Oswaldtwistle toddler faces spinal operation
A TODDLER’S battle for health will see him undergo serious spinal surgery on his mum’s birthday.
Carson Hartley’s mother, Kirsty Harris, turns 33 on Wednesday but, instead of celebrating, she will be pacing hospital hallways.
Waiting for news of an operation’s outcome is nothing new for Oswaldtwistle couple Kirsty, and her partner Damien Hartley, as two-year-old Carson has undergone surgery numerous times.
Carson was born with one of the most serious heart and lung conditions possible at birth, ‘blue baby syndrome’, also known as Tetralogy of Fallot.
Initially he was not breathing and three months later he had a heart attack.
His parents were also told he had to make it through his first winter without catching a cold, or he would die.
However, he managed to battle through pneumonia, and a host of operations which have cost him his voicebox, meaning he will never speak.
Now surgeons say they have to operate on his spine as Carson has the secondary condition of spina bifida.
The operation will be fraught with danger as anaesthetic could have an effect on his poorly-performing lungs.
Kirsty said: “Obviously there are great risks, with the anaesthetic and with them cutting his spinal cord.
“He could die, or be paralysed. The surgeons are conf- ident and say they do this all the time, but it’s hard to hear the details.
“The surgeon is lovely, but when he told me they would literally take off his coccyx with a hammer and chisel, I said ‘don’t tell me any more!’”
The surgery could take anything between five and ten hours. Or surgeons may not be able to operate at all after opening him up.
Carson has an upside down coccyx, so it protrudes at the bottom of his spine, instead of turning under. Unless it is removed, it will pierce the skin exposing his spine and inviting infection.
Surgeons also need to cut Carson’s spinal cord away from where it is incorrectly tethered to his spine before he grows any more. If they do not, it could snap and paralyse him.
Kirsty said: “I haven’t planned anything for my birthday and I will be in the halls just waiting. When they finish they call your mobile. So all I want for my birth-day this year is good news.”