A baby's life was saved when a rare heart condition was spotted – thanks to professional photographs.

Treasured family snaps taken of Danny Davies when he was just weeks old showed purple blotches on the baby’s skin, and his hands and feet were almost blue.

His parents Neil and Fran Davies showed the pictures from a professional photographer to a nurse.

Danny’s skin was purple in places when he was born, but it was assumed to be harmless bruising.

Doctors at the family’s local surgery and St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester then found Danny’s oxygen levels were extremely low.

The family was sent to Southampton General Hospital where Danny had life-saving treatment including a ten- hour operation and his parents were told he was just minutes from death.

Consultants said it was one of the most complex cases they have ever seen.

Rare condition

Full-time mum Mrs Davies, from Felpham, near Bognor, said: “Danny had a very rare congenital heart condition and was critically ill.

“He was struggling to get oxygen around his body and we were told the next 24 hours were critical.

“We couldn’t quite believe how quickly he’d deteriorated – we went from thinking our son was a healthy newborn to being told his life was in danger within the space of a few hours.

“In fact we were told that if we’d taken 15 minutes longer to get to Southampton, Danny might not have made it – it was almost unbelievable.”

Danny was diagnosed with pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PA-VSD) a very rare congenital heart malformation where the pulmonary valve fails to develop properly, obstructing the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs.

This is coupled with a defect in the lower chamber walls dividing the left and right-hand side.

Cardiac surgery

The condition affected Danny’s ability to get oxygenated blood around his body.

He was rushed to theatre where he had a ten-hour operation as consultant cardiac surgeons struggled to stabilise him.

Danny stayed in hospital for four months and had more surgery to reconstruct his heart and help it work more efficiently.

He was finally allowed home in October 2010. He has had 12 more procedures and will continue to be treated at the cardiac ward in Southampton for the rest of his life.

Now two, he has also been referred to the famous Great Ormond Street Hospital in London for further treatment, which could include a heart and lung transplant.

Mrs Davis, 23, said: “We realise what Danny has isn’t curable but Southampton is doing all it can to give him the best life it can and we’re so pleased to have them.”

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