Three months ago, Denise and Lain Page from Northants, England, were living every parent's worst nightmare. Their 13-month-old daughter Willow had contracted a mysterious illness and had suffered three heart attacks and a stroke in just 12 days. At the hospital, the little girl was in such distress that doctors considered her to be clinically "dead" three times—but each time, she miraculously pulled through.
So what was behind her sudden and inexplicable medical mystery? At first, doctors thought a minor chest infection was to blame. But they were wrong.
It all started back on June 23, when Willow became violently sick and her parents admitted her to Northampton General Hospital. There, doctors misdiagnosed the heart attack she had for a chest infection; but just four hours later, a second heart attack stopped her heart from beating for an agonizing four-and-a-half minutes.
That's when further tests revealed the true "cause of death": Little Willow had contracted myocarditis, a severe form of heart disease that can be brought about by anything from the common cold to a case of the flu. Her tiny heart had become inflamed, which is what led to her distress.
As if the Page family hadn't been through enough already, doctors now told them that only half of Willow's heart was functioning and she would need a transplant. Arrangements were made, there were hospital transfers and life support was administered. Then, after 12 days passed and her recovery seemed promising, doctors took Willow off life support—only for another heart attack and a stroke to follow. She would go on to suffer nearly 25 violent fits and "die" twice more. The Pages would even be warned that their little girl would most likely suffer lasting brain damage as a result from all the trauma, or worse die from bleeding on her brain.
"We started to worry what type of girl we would end up with after all the trauma her body had faced," remembers Lain. "We didn't know whether she'd ever be able to walk, or even talk."
But again, the doctors would be wrong.
In just four weeks, Willow would not only fully recover from her illness, but she would return home and, by all accounts, pick right back up where she left off—as the bubbly, bouncing baby she once was.
"She is a little fighter and amazed everyone by pulling through," said Lain Page. "We are so proud, and feel so happy to have her home."