CHARLIE’S WINNING SMILE UK’s youngest transplant waiting list patient beams adorable smile just six weeks after heart surgery

Health Life News

THIS is the precious moment a baby born with half a heart smiles for the first time.

Little Charlie Douthwaite was the youngest baby waiting for a heart transplant – with the tot receiving the vital organ just in time for Christmas last year.

Charlie Douthwaite, who is now 14 weeks old, smiled for the first time after a heart transplant

The now 14-week-old tot is on the road to recovery after the life-saving transplant and weeks of stress, with his parents overwhelmed when they saw their tot smile for the first time.

Mum Tracie Wright, 30, said: “I take pictures of Charlie every day because babies change so quickly.

“I had just taken one of him looking really grumpy and so I started laughing, and he looked at me and smiled.

“It was overwhelming, just amazing. In that moment I forgot about everything we had been through. I just saw a beautiful baby smiling back at me and looking happy.”

The delighted mum, of Fenham, Newcastle, added: “It came out of nowhere. Charlie’s dad Steven was with me but he didn’t notice at first, I had to nudge him, then I took a picture as quickly as I could.”

Charlie had undergone a nine hour transplant operation after a Europe-wide appeal was issued to find a matching donor

The tot had been born in October, weighing 6lbs 5oz, and undergoing his first open-heart surgery at three-days-old.

Doctors previously diagnosed him with hypoplastic left heart syndrome at Tracie’s 20-week scan.

The condition means the left side if the organ is underdeveloped and cannot work properly.

The family have since written to the family whose baby’s heart was donated to Charlie.

Mum Tracie said: “I can’t describe in words the gratitude I feel for them.

“They have given us the most precious gift.”

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