Baby with rare heart defect celebrates his first Easter at home
During an ultrasound scan in May last year, expectant mother Jacqueline Ho found out her baby might have a congenital heart condition.
Along with husband Li Wei Ming, the couple, who have a five-year-old son Zhongkai, spent the next few months preparing for the birth of their second child amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
When baby Yikai was born last October, he stayed in the hospital for about 40 days undergoing critical treatment. The couple relied on family, friends and their church community for support.
The family ushered in their first Easter yesterday with five-month-old Yikai at home, giving thanks for the help they have received and praying for his smooth journey towards recovery.
Ms Ho, 39, said: "As parents, this Easter had a special meaning to us as it was a time to reflect and share our gratitude for the support we have received."
The couple currently attend virtual church services and are waiting for the day they can introduce Yikai to their church community in person.
Like them, Christians across Singapore marked Easter yesterday, with many attending on-site and virtual church services.
Yikai was born with transposition of the great arteries (TGA) - a rare heart defect where the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed. The newborn underwent a medical procedure and two major surgeries in the first month of his life.
Even though Yikai arrived home a few days shy of his older brother's birthday in December, he had to be rushed back to the hospital on New Year's Eve because of breathlessness.
Mr Li said: "We put our trust in our team of doctors and healthcare workers at the National University Hospital, who were so committed to Yikai's care.
"We were also thankful and grateful for the emotional and mental support of our parents, friends and church members. Without it, we would have found it difficult to pull through this period of time."
They will return to the hospital later this month for Yikai's next - and hopefully last - surgery.
"We don't know what the future looks like, but we will hold on to our faith and hope our story can be encouraging for other parents like us," Ms Ho said.