Amazing water baby Charlie Cobb shows his super-swimming skills despite being given just a 50% chance of survival when he was born.

Charlie celebrated his first birthday this week after being diagnosed with a heart defect before he was born.

Despite delicate heart operations and long stays in hospital, Charlie now swims every week, which doctors believe has helped his recovery.

Mother Louise Bushby, from Brighton, East Sussex, was told 20 weeks into her pregnancy that her unborn son had hypoplastic left heart syndrome with severe mitral and aortic stenosis.

Louise and partner Dan Cobb were asked to make a life-changing decision about whether or not to continue the pregnancy.

Ms Bushby said: “In our mind, there was no decision to be made, so we went about making plans for Charlie’s care once he arrived.”

Charlie Cobb was given a 50% chance of survival and because of the severity of his condition the doctors were unable to confirm how stable he would be when he was born.

Cardiac arrest

Charlie had his first open-heart surgery operation at one day old and recovered remarkably well.

However, before being discharged, Charlie had a cardiac arrest in his mother’s arms and was rushed back to hospital where he stayed for a ten days.

Ms Bushby said: “The doctors didn’t think Charlie would wake up after the cardiac arrest and he was moved to the high dependency unit for three weeks before we were allowed to bring him home.”

In a bid to give Charlie the same opportunities other children, his parents began taking him to baby swimming classes with Water Babies at Patcham High School at the weekend since he was seven months old.

Ms Bushby said: “Charlie loves swimming and does everything all the other children in the class have done. The whole team at Water Babies have been amazing at accommodating Charlie's needs and ever since he started swimming, he has thrived in his recovery and development both socially and physically.”