Monty’s all heart

Monty’s all heart

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Grace Davies with her son Monty Edgcumbe. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Not many children, let alone adults have had as many surgeries as Monty Edgcumbe.

Monty, now four-years-old, had his first surgery when he was just two weeks old to repair a VSD, a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of his heart and to repair the transposition of the great arteries which is a heart defect.

His mother Grace Davies said they found out Monty would have some heart complications at his five-month scan.

“When he was born he was taken off me straight away but then he was able to come back with us and stay for a couple of weeks,” she said.

“However during this time a nurse had to come out and check his breathing because his breathing determined when he would need surgery to fix the hole and repair the transposition of the great arteries.”

Monty managed to last two weeks before he, along with his mother and father Maxwell Edgcumbe were flown to Royal Melbourne Hospital for surgery.

Monty Edgcumbe endured multiple surgeries for many heart complications from the age of just two weeks old.

However what should have been a maximum two-week stay lingered on for a period of six weeks, as doctors found additional issues with Monty’s heart.

“The surgery should have taken about nine hours and then he would head to the recovery unit, but he came out 16 and a half hours later with his chest open and every cord imaginable on his body,” she said.

Further scans found Monty also had a right double outlet and four extra holes, which are called murmurs in his heart.

Ms Davies said his surgeon told them he had never seen a heart as complex as Monty’s in his 40 years as a surgeon.

After the third surgery Monty returned to Perth but sadly his troubles weren’t over yet.

At a year and two months old Ms Davies noticed Monty had a wheeze whenever he breathed in and out.

Further tests found that he had developed an aneurysm behind where the surgeons had patched up his VSD and if it wasn’t treated he could die.

A fourth and final surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital removed the aneurysm and Monty has been well ever since.

“He is honestly incredible,” she said.

“You wouldn’t even know he has been through any of these surgeries unless he lifts up his shirt.

“He is a thrill seeker… he gives me heart palpitations every day but you have never met a kid that has got so much energy and love for life.”

Ironically Monty’s first surgery was on the same date three years on from an accident that nearly killed Ms Davies.

Ms Davies had a motorcycle accident in 2012, which left her in a coma for nine days, forcing her to learn how to walk and talk again.

“The fact that I nearly died on April 7 and he nearly died on April 7 is really odd,” she said.

Ms Davies said she and her family thank their lucky stars everyday and say without the help of not-for-profit organisation Heartkids, they don’t know how they would have got through it.

“Heartkids were amazing, they organised and paid for all our flights and accommodation when we needed to go to Melbourne,” she said.

“If I can give back to them I will.”