For links to other photos go to . . . Family Index page


With no fluid build up in Lola's chest cavity (chylothorax) since the operation 3 weeks ago, the doctors decided that Lola was well enough to go home on December 14. Fantastic! So, George packed the car with all the presents and things that accumulated over the past 3 weeks and drove back to Kingston. So, Lola was home at last with her Mum and Dad. What a relief, but we all know that these are early days in her recovery. Lola will remain on the strict no fat diet for 6 weeks with regular hospital check-ups.
The following diary is in reverse chronological order

Tuesday 21st December 2010 - Lola in Emsworth

George took Lola to Southampton General Hospital today for a check up. All went very well. The doctors were happy with her progress since leaving hospital a week ago and took her off some of her medication. They called into our place in Emsworth on the way home. We thought Lola was looking well. She is now walking, though remains in a delicate condition. Danny, Lisa and Joe came in to see Lola while she was here, which was nice.

Lola showing her drawing skills with this snowman

Joe is keen to have a go himself

Lola and Lisa having a serious chat

Lola and Lisa played nicely together with the farm

Story time with Grandma

Brian was inspired by Jamie Oliver to make special mince pies (with gennaro)

Friday 17th December 2010 - Lola at home

Lola has been home for a few days and is doing well. She has not found her feet as yet after her stay in hospital, but she has helped her Dad with the Xmas tree and yesterday was invited to Kingston Primary School to meet her new class mates and to see Father Christmas. Here is George's description of the visit in words which express so well what we all fervently feel and hope for our lovely little girl.

"She was somewhat overwhelmed, and to be perfectly honest so was I. Verity, her Pre-School key worker and Sammy her teacher had organised a collection for Lola, and had bought her a Nintendo DSi and games. Given to her by Father Christmas! A lovely thing to have done. It shows how much Lola is valued and cherished. Sammy and the school have made every effort to accommodate our somewhat erratic and undesired lifestyle! Lola has been through so much, especially this year, and her resources and spirit have been challenged and stretched beyond belief. I only hope this dark time is over, and that Christmas and the New Year will give our lovely Lola the healthy and happy future she deserves."

Lola at home with her Christmas tree

Lola's first sight of snow at home and there's no stopping her!

Lola opening the present she had from Father Christmas at school

Tuesday 14th December 2010 - Lola goes home!

Here is a photo from George of the little girl all set to leave hospital. "One happy little girl, not sporting this season's fashionable chest drain!" as George put it. And doesn't she look well!


Lola was at home for 2 months after her first stay in hospital from July to September following the the Fontan operation. However, the fluid (chyle) again built up in her chest cavity and she was admitted into to Pediatric Ward E1 of Southampton General Hospital on Nov 24 where she underwent yet another operation to re-instate the drain in her side. On Dec 8 surgeons performed a thoracic ligation to stem the chylothorax and a pleurectomy to remove the lining between the lung and the chest wall. Lola was finally discharged on Dec 14.

 For Lola's earlier spell in hospital go to . . . Lola in hospital 2010: July to September

The following diary is in reverse chronological order.

Sunday 12th December 2010 - Lola is improving

Jean and I went over to Southampton General Hospital for a few hours today. Mary was back on the ward from Lewes. Lola was in good form. Mary's friend Holly had made a cheeky monkey toy and put together a story book to go with it called 'The Adventures of Cheeky Monkey', starring friends from Lewes whom Lola knows. A lovely idea. We looked after Lola while Mary and George had a Sunday roast in the cafe.

View of Lola's ward with sticker board, CBeebies on TV and toys everywhere.

Jean reading 'The Adventures of Cheeky Monkey' to Lola with the cheeky monkey looking on

Whose a cheeky monkey, then, Grandma?

Mary brushing the knots out of Lola's hair

Friday 10th December 2010 - Lola's progress

Lola continues to make progress after her recent operations. She is now free of nearly all the attachments and was actually able to walk to and from the bathroom while Jean and I were there this afternoon.

Lola having her hair washed in the bathroom

Lola walking back to her ward from the bathroom helped by her Dad and Nurse Becky

The next step was to get the tangles out of Lola's hair

Lola using the badge making set that the Southampton footballers gave her yesterday

What a nice smile from our lovely girl

Lola's school class having their nativity play with Lola present in image form at least!

Lola was on local TV yesterday when Meridian News showed the visit to the hospital of some of the Southampton FC footballers and their manager. We missed the transmission, but Mary gave us the link to the repeat.

It is 16 mins into the half hour programme, but will only be on till later today.

Thursday 9th December 2010 - So far, so good

Lola continues to make progress. The drainage tube was removed from her chest yesterday, which was the main source of discomfort. No sign of any fluid. The catheter was also removed while I was there this morning. After I left, Lola got up to go to the toilet, a small but significant step towards recovery. In fact, Lola was looking so much better than when I saw her on Tuesday and was managing to reposition herself in the bed. She was delighted with two big parcels.

This was the first of two parcels that the postman brought for Lola

Lola was delighted with the presents the parcel contained

She particularly liked this glittery bag with a long handle

The second parcel was even bigger!

and contained a very special advent calendar

Lola having a laugh with her doctor

And finally, George took this this one of Lola and me

Tuesday 7th December 2010 - Lola is recovering

Much better news today. Lola is making a slow but steady recovery from her emergency operation on Saturday. She has been moved to a small ward all to herself. She is alert and sharp and eating again, though still in considerable discomfort. The dreaded drain may be taken out soon, hopefully tomorrow morning.

Two nurses aided by Mary and Jean, managed to lift Lola into a partial sitting position in the bed. Although she was far from happy doing this, it certainly lifted her spirits (as shown in the photos), as well as those of everyone around her!

Lola got a present from Nurse Jo for being such a brave girl

Lola also got a sticker for her poster

Lola helping her Dad to stir the plaster for the special fairy mirror

Lola more her old perky self, entertaining us with a nice smile

Sunday 5th December 2010 - Lola has operation

Lola was very poorly yesterday with fluid again building up in her chest cavity (called chylothorax). So, the surgeons carried out an emergency four and a half hour operation last night. Mary rushed back from her show in Lewes to be with her (thanks to neighbour Martin for the lift). During the operation the surgeons performed a thoracic ligation to stem the chylothorax and a pleurectomy, which involves removing the lining between the lung and the chest wall.

Jean and I went over this morning. Lola was being attended in the high dependency ward and was attached to numerous tubes and wires. Mary and George are fantastically positive, as we all must be. But it is a very worrying time.

Thursday 2nd December 2010 - Lola in the snow!

Lola's wish was granted today. Her Dad, with the help of a student nurse, got her out of the hospital, complete with drainage tank and all, to experience what was the heaviest snowfall for many years. And wasn't she a happy girl. Meanwhile, her Mum is stuck in Lewes.



Sadly, relaxing Lola's no fat diet did not work out and the fluid is flowing again. There is unlikely to be any decision about future treatment until next week.

Here are a few more photos of the little girl taken yesterday when Jean and I visited the hospital.

Lola's ward with the car waiting by her bed

Lola was pleased with her singing reindeer and her new Fi fi toy set

Off she goes down the corridor to the playroom

Lola using the new washing machine

I won that time, Grandma!

Tuesday 30th November 2010 - A waiting game

Jean and I visited Lola, Mary and George in Dolphin Ward this morning. Lola was generally bright, though had a few bad spells when she had pain from the drainage tube in her right side. It will be so good when the tube comes out, but not just yet.

The plan is to gradually introduce fat into her diet and then wait to see what effect that has on the flow of fluid. It would be brilliant if there were no effect, though no one is counting their chickens. We are all praying for the best. The little girl so deserves a break.

Lola with her new illuminating snowman

Lola loves to eat raw lemon, but . . . oooo . . . it is sharp!

Lola playing snap with the girl from the next bed, and her Mum

Lola giving Grandma a quick game, while her Mum and Dad have a chat with nurse Becky

Sunday 28th November 2010 - Lola is doing well

Danny, Lisa and Jean went over to Southampton General Hospital to see Lola this afternoon. George had stayed the night with us in Emsworth, as he is doing this evening. while Mary holds the fort in Dolphin Ward. I was not able to go due to my ongoing chest infection, but Lola drew a nice picture 'for Papa who has a bad cough'.

The news is good, though it is early days. Lola had a scan today which showed no sign of fluid and the surgeons plan to remove the drainage tube in an operation tomorrow. What happens after that is not sure. But Lola remains perky and enjoyed having Lisa to play with today.

Lola having fun with Grandma


Lola relaxing while watching 'Jungle Book'


Lola having a laugh with Grandma

Wednesday 24th November 2010 - Lola is back in hospital

I had hoped that I would not have to re-open this page, but sadly Lola is back in hospital. She was at home for 2 months after being discharged from Southampton General after her last operation. She had been on a strict low fat diet, and seemingly making a good recovery from her last operation, but in the past week the fluid has again built up in her chest cavity.

She spent one night in Brighton Children's Hospital (Nov 23) before being transferred to Southampton General Hospital where today she underwent yet another operation to re-instate the drain in her side. Mary and George are with her in the high dependency ward. There are discussions ongoing with the consultants about what further action to take.

Jean went to see Lola this afternoon. I have a bad chest infection so could not go. Lola was chatty as usual, almost 'home from home' in the hospital. But this is a very worrying time. Here is a photo of the little girl, showing the drain in her right side and the canula in her left wrist. The oxygen is available on her right shoulder.

For Lola's earlier spell in hospital go to . . . Lola in hospital 2010: July to September