Parents of St Neots toddler who underwent pioneering surgery tell of “traumatic year”

07:15 28 February 2016

Mum Meera Wiggett, with her daughter Maia Wiggett, at their home in Eaton Ford,

Mum Meera Wiggett, with her daughter Maia Wiggett, at their home in Eaton Ford,


When their daughter Maia was born six weeks premature in November 2014, Meera and Shaun Wiggett were concerned, but contented themselves with the fact that she was healthy and in good hands professionally.

Maia Wiggett,Maia Wiggett,

Maia, who weighed 3lbs 1oz, was taken to Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU). A few days later, however, doctors diagnosed a heart murmur during a routine check.

“They then carried out a more detailed scan and discovered she had holes at the top and bottom of her heart and told us she would need open heart surgery,” explained Meera.

“We were in shock and didn’t really understand what that meant for Maia and we thought ‘is she going to pull through’.”

In the next few weeks Maia failed to gain weight and Meera and Shaun, of Eaton Ford, were told Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) would carry out an interim procedure until Maia was strong enough to cope with open heart surgery.

Maia Wiggett,Maia Wiggett,

“We were allowed to take her home for Christmas, which was lovely for our families to see her and for us all to spend time together.”

Then early in the new year the couple received a call from GOSH to say a slot had become available for Maia to have surgery on January 9.

“The interim heart surgery was to help her breathe and give her time to put on weight, but then, as preparation for the operation was beginning, they found Maia was having difficulty breathing.”

Doctors from the hospital’s pioneering trachea team examined Maia and broke the news to Meera and Shaun that the situation was even more serious as Maia had a rare condition called long segment tracheal stenosis (narrowing of the trachea) and surgery for this had to take priority.

“We knew she was in the best possible hands but it was so hard to just sit there and not know what to do for the best. We just felt numb and helpless at times,” said Meera.

“After a failed extrabation [removal] of the ventilation tube; it was at this point that I had a gut instinct that Maia should be left alone to heal and I asked the doctors not to carry out anything else and to do nothing for a week.”

Six weeks after the operation, Maia was well enough to be transferred back to Hinchingbrooke where she stayed for another four weeks until she was strong enough to go home with her family.

She returned to GOSH on June 30 to undergo a seven-hour open heart surgery operation to repair the two holes in her heart. Although it was successful it was touch and go for a while. Maia needed a blood transfusion, suffered a cardiac arrest and over the next few days her liver and kidneys began to fail, but due to the excellent care she received she pulled through and was allowed to go home just two weeks later.

Although she has regular check-ups and scans she is fit and well and developing normally.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hunts Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hunts Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hunts Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 16:44
James Palmer

James Palmer has announced his candidacy of the new role of mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and says he hopes the new devolved authority will give “more power to those who understand the needs of the area”.

Yesterday, 15:18
Adam Stretton and Jet.

A talented agility dog from Huntingdon and his owner have qualified for the prestigious Kennel Club Olympia Agility Stakes finals in London later this month.

Yesterday, 13:54
Hinchingbrooke Hospital,

A new centre which will support and care for people who have been sexually assaulted is to open in Huntingdon on December 14.

Yesterday, 09:40
Cambridgeshire 's police and fire services are exploring closer working opportunities.

Cambridgeshire’s police and crime commissioner, Jason Ablewhite, has moved a step closer to taking on responsibility for the county’s fire and rescue service after it was agreed to develop a joint business case looking at closer collaboration between the two emergency services.

Get your skates on this winter and enjoy one of the UK's most stylish open-air ice rinks nestled amongst the trees in Parkers Piece Park in the heart of Cambridge

Set in the heart of vibrant Cambridge, The North Pole Cambridge Ice Rink is back throughout the festive season; come and join us as we open from the 18th November through to 4th January.

Read more

Most read stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up