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This web page is devoted to telling the story of the first dramatic months in the life of Lola May George.

from 22 March 2006 to 1 December 2006

Please note the photos are arranged in reverse chronological order

To see the photos click on the blue underlined link and use your back button to return to this page.

Lola was born to Mary and George on Wednesday 22 March 2006 in The Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton with a very serious heart defect, called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. She was rushed to Southampton General Hospital where she had a 6 hour operation (called Norwood) followed by a few days in intensive care. She was transfered to the Pedriatric Cardiatric Ward E1 where she was well looked after for the next 4 weeks.

Mary and George were constantly with Lola and received much support from their families and friends. After a week at home Lola had to return to Southampton General Hospital for a small operation to fix the chest wound which had not healed properly. Lola had the second part of the Norwood operation on Friday 15th September. Here are updates on Lola's progress with photos taken both at the hospital and at home.

Friday 1 December 2006

Lola went into Southampton General Hospital for a cathecterisation examination which involved a general anesthetic with tubes in her neck and groin leading to her heart. The news was good about the heart and no actual surgery was required. Mary and Lola stayed in hospital for 2 days and Lola was discharged on Saturday 2 Dec. Jean and I went over to the hospital to see them on the Friday after Lola's operation and, as you will see from the photos, she was looking remarkably well and active. Mary and George popped into Emsworth on the way home to meet Peter, Julia and Lily.

Lola "behind bars" in Ward E1 after her cathecterisation check-up at the hospital - 01.12.06

Lovely Lola after her little op - 01.12.06

Lola looking happy after her little operation - 01.12.06

Lola with her Grandma in Southampton General Hospital - 01.12.06

Lola with the rest of the family in Emsworth - 02.12.06

Monday 9 October 2006

Very good news. Mary and George popped into Emsworth on their way to Southampton General Hospital where Lola had a check up with the Consultant. All went well and Lola continues to make very good progress after her second operation. Here are a few snaps of Lola in Emsworth having fun with her Grandma and with a plastic dish!

Lola in her high chair in Emsworth - 09.10.06

Lola with her Grandma - 09.10.06

Lola having fun with a dish - 09.10.06

Tuesday 26 September 2006

Jean and I went over to Southampton General Hospital, hopefully for the last time for some years. We found Lola well and having some final tests before being discharged. The nurses came to say goodbye. They all love little Lola. Mary phoned from the hospital at 5pm to say they were on their way home! They stopped briefly in Emsworth for a quick bite to eat and then made their way back to Kingston for the first time for 2 weeks. Here are a few snaps from Lola's last day in hospital and one from Emsworth.

Lola with her Grandma - 26.09.06

Lola having a play with her rattle - 26.09.06

Lola being tended to by nurse Anna - 26.09.06

Lola getting a welcome feed from her Mum - 26.09.06

Lola having something tasty from her Grandma - 26.09.06

Nurse Mike saying goodbye to Lola - 26.09.06

Lola stops at Emsworth on her way home to Kingston - 26.09.06

Saturday 23 September 2006

Jean and I visited the hospital this afternoon. Lola continues to make good progress after her operation just over a week ago. She is feeding well and her chest wound appears to be healing. She is still having oxygen through a tube into her nose and her pulse and oxygen levels are being constantly monitored. Mary and Gelorge were allowed to take Lola for a walk in her pram within the hospital grounds for the first time since her operation, complete with oxygen cylinder. It was a lovely warm afternoon and Lola (and her Mum and Dad) clearly benefitted from the fresh air.

Lola having fun with her new book in the hospital ward - 23.09.06

Mary and George meet a nurse in the hospital who previously looked after Lola - 23.09.06

Lola out for a walk in the hospital grounds with her Mum, Dad and Grandma - 23.09.06

Mary, George and Jean enjoying the sunshine while out for walk with Lola - 23.09.06

Lola enjoyed the fresh air in her pram - 23.09.06

Lola and her Dad having a laugh together - 23.09.06

Thursday 21 September 2006

Lola had a couple of setbacks following her operation last Friday. She had a slight seizure on Sunday from which she seems to have recovered. Then on Wednesday her chest wound opened up with some discharge, but this is being treated. When we visited the hospital today, Lola was awake, alert and looked well. This afternoon Mary had a welcome break from the hospital and enjoyed lunch and a couple of hours shopping at West Quay with her Mum. George came over to spend the night at Emsworth and he was pleased with Lola's progress and said she was back to her "old self".

Lola with her Mum and Grandma in attendance at Southampton General Hospital - 21.09.06

Saturday 16 September 2006

On Tuesday 12 September, Mary had a phone call from Southampton General Hospital while she and George were at the Top Drawer show in London to say they wanted Lola to go into hospital that evening. There was some concern over her low oxygen levels in the blood and they wanted to monitor her before the second part of the Norwood operation which was now due. The operation took place on Friday 15 September with the same surgeon who did the first operation. All went well and Lola was transfered into intensive care.

Jean and I went over to Southampton General Hospital on Saturday afternoon and, quite by coincidence, met Mary and George with a nurse wheeling Lola along the corridor. Lola was being transfered from the intensive care unit to the high dependency ward E1. Lola was awake and looking around as she was wheeled into the ward. Jean and I stayed for an hour or so. Lola was awake for much of this time and had her first small feed for over 30 hours. She was well and everything was fine.

Lola being transfered from the intensive care unit to Ward E1 - 16.09.06

Lola in her cot on Ward E1 in Southampton GH - 16.09.06

Lola all wired up in Ward E1 of Southampton General Hospital - 16.09.06

Lola being tended to in her cot in Ward E1 - 16.09.06

Lola with her Mum in Ward E1 - 16.09.06

Lola with her Dad in Ward E1 - 16.09.06

Lola with her Grandma in Ward E1 of SGH - 16.09.06

Mary and Jean having a cup of tea in Ward E1 - 16.09.06

August 5 2006 - Emsworth

Here are a few snaps of Lola during a visit to Emsworth at the age of 5 months.

Lola at with her Mum and Grandma at Flinstones Cafe in Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola with her Mum at Flinstones Cafe in Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola asleep in her pram in Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola awake in her pram in Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola standing (almost) in the garden at Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola with her grandad in the garden - 05.08.06

Lola with her grandad in the garden at Emsworth - 05.08.06

Lola (at 13 weeks) looking very healthy with her Grandma in Emsworth - 23.06.06

Sunday 21 May 2006 - Emsworth

Mary and George stayed the night in Emsworth with Lola on their way to an appointment at Southampton General Hospital on Monday. Lola is feeding well and her chest scar is healing nicely. As the following photos show she is bright and alert and looking very well.

Lola with her Mum - 21.05.06 . . . Lola with her Dad - 21.05.06

Lola having a stretch - 21.05.06 . . .Lola with Uncle Danny - 21.05.06

Monday 8 May 2006 - Emsworth

Lola had the stitches taken out of her chest wound today at Southampton General Hospital. All went very well and she has another appointment to see the surgeon next Monday. Mary and George popped into Emsworth on the way home and here are a few photos of the little girl who, as you will see, was alert, active and looked very well indeed.

Lola has a little smile for her Mum - 08.05.06 . . . Lola bright eyes - 08.05.06

Tuesday 2 May 2006 - Emsworth

Jean and I had a great surpise this afternooon when Mary and George arrived at the door with Lola. Lola had been dischared from the hospital and they popped in on their way home to Kingston. Lovely to see them all and with Lola looking so well. She is due back at the hospital next Monday to have her stitches out, so let's hope she will be able to continue her progress at home until the next stage of her treatment. Here are a few snaps from their brief stay in Emsworth when we had a walk round the millpond and popped in to see Danny, Karen and Lisa.

Lola in our front room with Mary, George and Jean - 02.04.06

Lola relaxes in her shawl with her Dad - 02.04.06

Lola having a good kick - 02.04.06

Having a brisk walk around the millpond - 02.04.06

Saturday 29 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola continues to make good progress and has put on weight. She is now above her birth weight. Lola had a little set back last night when the cannula in her hand, which delivers antibiotics, came off. She had to be taken into the intensive care unit to get a replacement which accounts for the rather large splint on her left arm.

Lola sleeping with her arm in the air - 29.04.06

Friday 28 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola had a small operation to tidy-up her chest wound at Southampton General Hospital this morning. It took about 30 minutes and appears to have been successful. Lola was awake and alert when Jean and I visited this afternoon and was able to take food. She has a couple of tubes and is getting extra oxygen, but she looked remarkably well. If all continues to go well, the surgeon said they could probably return home next Tuesday.

Mary and Lola with a get well card - 28.04.06

George winding Lola with a bit of help from Grandma - 28.04.06

Lola's chest after the operation - 28.04.06

Lola alert and looking up at a mobile toy overhead - 28.04.06

Wednesday 26 April - Lola back in Southampton General Hospital

Lola is back in hospital - Mary and George took her back to Southampton General Hospital today for her chest wound to be examined. The wound has not healed since the operation 5 weeks ago. The doctors decided to admit Lola into the hospital (in Ward E1 as before) for a possible operation tomorrow. Mary is staying in the ward and George has returned to Kingston.

Friday 21 April - Lola at home in Kingston

Pete and Julia visited Kingston this morning on their way from Emsworth to London. It was a lovely spring day, so we were all able to sit in the garden of "Rough Down" with Lola enjoying a bit of real fresh Sussex air.

Lola in the garden with Mum, Dad and Julia - 21.04.06

Lola in her green pram in the garden of Rough Down with the family - 21.04.06

Wednesday 19 April - Lola at home in Kingston

Mary, George and Lola come home to "Rough Down" in Kingston! Exactly 4 weeks after Lola's birth and 27 days in Southampton General Hospital D-Day finally arrived. Jean will be staying at "Roughdown" for a couple of days to help everyone settle in.

George does his first nappy change at home - 19.04.06

Lola sleeps peacefully at home in Kingston - 19.04.06

Mary enjoying the new swing constructed by George - 19.04.06

Tuesday 18 April - Southampton General Hospital

Jean helped out today with Lola while Mary and George had some special training about having Lola at home.

Jean feeding Lola from the bottle - 18.04.06

Jean taking Lola for a walk-about in the corridor of Ward E1 - 18.04.06

Sunday 16 April - Southampton General Hospital

Mary and George took Lola out in her new pram for the first time today for a walk in the very peaceful Hollybrook Cemetery. Jean and I collected some rolls and drinks and we had a lovely picnic on the grass in the warm spring sunshine. It was so pleasant for them to get out of the hospital environment for a little while.

Mary and George with Lola in the cemetery - 16.04.06

Close up of Lola asleep in the pram - 16.04.06

Having a picnic in Hollybrook Cemetery - 16.04.06

Friday 14 April - Southampton General Hospital

George went back to their home at Kingston this morning to do a few jobs and prepare for the homecoming. Jean spent the afternoon with Mary while Brian went for a walk round Southampton Common. Lola had been moved out of the family room and back into the open ward which means Mary will be back on the camp bed tonight in the parents room! Lola is looking well and Mary is managing her feeding well.

Lola following a toy ring with her eyes - 14.04.06

Thursday 13 April - Southampton General Hospital

Mary and George were moved into a family room together last night with Lola. This was nice for them all, though Mary had to feed her in the night. Lola is looking better every time we see her; she is such a beauty and the nurses love her. The cannula has gone from her hand and the antibiotics for her chest wound are administered orally. She seems to be feeding well, both from Mary and from the bottle and put on a little weight for the second day running which is good news.

Lola in her cot surrounded by toys - 13.04.06

Wednesday 12 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola is 3 weeks old today and what a 3 weeks it has been! But things are definitely improving with Mary having had a good night's sleep as Lola was fed in the night by bottle. Lola put on a little weight, now to maintain it. Peter and Julia visited the hospital this morning and took Mary and George out to a local pub for lunch, for the first time for 3 weeks. Here are a few photos taken by Peter.

Julia with Lola - 12.04.06

Peter in an excitable mood - 12.04.06

Monday 10 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola is looking better every time we see her. She is putting on a little weight and her chest wound is slowly healing. Mary is feeding her, but Lola needs topping up with a little extra supplement (which she is not at all keen on!). Mary went shopping with her Mum to West Quay this afternoon, first time out of the hospital!

George feeding Lola a supplement she is not keen on - 10.04.06

Lola having a stretch - 10.04.06

Some of the toys for Lola from family and friends - 10.04.06

Friday 7 April - Southampton General Hospital

Jean and I delivered some washing to Mary & George in the hospital this afternoon. We did not stay long, but all seemed to be going well. Lola was sleepy but looking good. Mary and George were fine.

Lola in a sleepy mood - 07.04.06

Thursday 6 April - Southampton General Hospital

Mary and George were in good spirits today and Lola continues to make good progress. Lola is now free of all the tubes and wires and is looking good. Jean and I were able to have a little hold of Lola for the first time today which was nice. Lola's chest wound still has not quite healed up and she is still on antibiotics. She still has the cannula in her right hand for antibiotic treatment. Mary had a bed in the 'parents room' last night and was able to use it during the day also for a rest which was good. The hospital nutritionist is concerned that Lola is not taking enough milk from Mary. Apparently, there is milk, but Lola is not yet strong enough to take it, so she may need topping up. Mary and George had a walk outside yesterday for the first time for 2 weeks, around Highfield Cemetery! Today, George took Jean and I for a walk in this very attractive cemetery in the spring sunshine while Mary fed Lola.

Lola with her Mum - 06.04.06

Lola with her Dad - 06.04.06

Lola with her Grandma - 06.04.06

Lola with her Grandpa - 06.04.06

Tuesday 4 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola has been moved into a less high dependency ward in the Pediatric cardiac ward and continues to make very good progress. The new ward is nice and open and Lola has a cot near the window. It is amazing how much better she looks with all the tubes removed. She no longer needs oxygen, though her oxygen levels are monitored. The only worry is the infection in the chest scar for which Lola is having another course of antibiotics, administered through a cannula in her right hand; this will last until next Sunday. Mary and George spent last night apart for the first time. At the request of the nurses Mary spent last night in the ward so she would be on hand to feed Lola. George went across the road to the hostel where he had a sound night's sleep. Mary was woken twice in the night to feed Lola, but is happy with the new system, even though she has to sleep on a camp bed in a play room! Mary is managing to feed Lola reasonably well without top ups. Lola was awake for much of the time Jean and Brian were there, occasionally crying lustily.

Lola with eyes open - 04.04.06

Jean found a photo of Mary taken when she was only 1 week old. The resemblence with Lola is remarkable.

Mary one week old with her Mum in April 1969.jpg

Sunday 2 April - Southampton General Hospital

Jean and I visited the hospital this afternoon and found Mary and George in good spirits and baby Lola continuing to make progress. For some of the time we were there (2 hours) Lola was awake and out of her cot with her eyes open. Mary was able to give Lola the best feed she has yet had for fully 30 minutes and Lola also had a nice long cuddle from George. Lola still requires oxygen and her oxygen levels are constantly monitored. She also has a feeding tube in her nose (for top ups when necessary).

Lola looking intently at the camera - 02.04.06

Lola with her proud Dad - 02.04.06

Mary enjoying fruit from the Kingston basket - 02.04.06

Saturday 1 April - Southampton General Hospital

Lola continues to make good progress. The following photos were taken by Danny when he and Karen visited the hospital. Mary and George both held Lola. Mary was delighted that Lola was able to take a little milk from her for the first time since the operation. Danny also delivered a fine basket of fruit and flowers from the neighbours of Mary and George in Kingston.

Lola with her eyes open - 01.04.06

Lola with Mary and Karen - 01.04.06

A basket of fruit for Mary and George

Wednesday 29 March - Lola in Southampton General Hospital

Lola had a little setback due to some haemorrhaging. She also had an infection of the chest wound. However, there was no recurrence of the bleeding and Lola was able to remain in the cardiac unit. Mary and George were stalwarts throughout this critical first week of Lola's life, remaining very positive. They were provided with a room in a purpose-built block just outside the hospital which was very convenient. It is very early days yet, but Lola is a fighter. The name Lola apparently means strong and she needs to be!

George with Lola (whose head is inside a plastic hood for the delivery of oxygen) - 30.03.06

Jean helping to feed Lola - 30.03.06

Tuesday 28 March - Lola moved to the high dependency cardiac unit

On March 28 Lola was transfered from intensive care to the high dependence Pediatric Cardiac Unit Ward E1 where she had just had two tubes in her mouth for food and oxygen.

Lola with her proud Mum and Dad in the Pedriatric Cardiac Unit - 28.03.06

Lola in the Pedriatric Cardiac Unit of Southampton General Hospital - 28.03.06

Lola opening her eyes in the cardiac unit - 28.03.06

Lola receives a Bravery Certificate from the Intensive Care Team - 28.03.06

Mary feeding Lola from a bottle - 28.03.06

Mary and Jean with Lola - 28.03.06

24-27 March 2006 - Lola in intensive care in Southampton General Hospital

On the morning of March 24 Lola had major heart surgery, taking 6 hours, after which she went into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The heart defect that Lola has is called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, where the left side of the heart, which normally does most of the pumping of the blood around the body, is not properly formed. The operation is called "The Norwood" and, to put it very simply, enables the right side of the heart to take over the work of pumping. This is the most serious of congenital heart defects and affects only 1 child in 5,000 and is fatal unless operated on immediately. Further operations will be necessary.

Danny drove Jean and Brian over to SGH to see Mary, George and baby Lola. Mary and George have a room opposite the unit where Lola is being treated. The IC unit is full of high tech equipment and nurses in abundance. Little Lola is lying there all wired up with tubes in every orifice and surrounded by dials, screens and a nurse writing down everything that happens. But it was all very calm and reassuring. Mary and George are so positive. I take some photos and videos. Here are a few photos taken during the stay.

Mary with Lola in intensive care unit - 25.03.06

Lola with Mary and Jean in attendance in the intensive care unit - 25.03.06

Danny with Lola in the intensive care unit - 25.03.06

George and Jean discuss Lola's progress - 25.03.06

The next 2 days were critical, but Lola pulled through the operation thanks to the wonderful attention she received in the Pedriatric Intensive Care Unit. Lola made good progress and the respirator was turned off on March 27 and she started breathing for herself. Her sedation was reduced and she started to move and open her eyes briefly. She even managed to squeeze Mary's finger.

Thursday 23 March 2006 - Lola's heart defect discovered

The morning after Mary's baby was born, a nurse noticed that she was becoming very blue. A heart defect was suspected and she was immediately put onto a respirator. The next task was to find a hospital with the facilities to operate. Luckily, a space was found at Southampton General Hospital to where she was transferred the same night. Danny came to the rescue by driving Mary and George from Kingston to Southampton at midnight. Mary phoned to say she and George had decided on the baby's name Lola May. Nice! Here is a photo of Lola in intensive care at Southampton General Hospital, before her major operation.

Lola critically ill in Southampton General Hospital - 23.03.06

Wednesday 22 March 2006 - Lola born

Mary had a baby girl at The Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton at about 8pm. She had planned to have the baby at home in Kingston, but the baby would not come out, so she had to be rushed into hospital for a forceps delivery. Mary phoned her Mum from the hospital at 11.30pm. She was well and the baby was crying. No name yet. She seemed happy, but we did not know what was to come. Here are a few photos before Lola's illness was discovered.

Mary with Lola in The Royal Sussex Hospital before her illness was discovered - 22.03.06

Lola before her illness was discovered - 22.03.06

George with Lola - 22.03.06