IN a world first, tiny Taylor Gardner has been fitted with a pacemaker bigger than her fragile body.
Born after just 26 weeks and weighing a minuscule 541g, Taylor’s heart began to fail in the hours after her birth, forcing Melbourne’s Monash Medical Centre surgeons to try the untried.
The cardiac team wired an external pacemaker to her tiny heart, allowing her to stay alive so she can be fitted with a more conventional pacemaker in coming months…
Scans at 19 weeks revealed Taylor had a complete heart block found in 1 in 200,000 babies, but only ever in a handful to the same extent.
Her mother Rebecca left her country home so her pregnancy could be monitored around the clock.
“It was heart-wrenching, but I wanted her to survive because she is my 11th pregnancy and I only had one child,” Ms Gardner said.
“She is a total miracle. “She’s a fighter and she is feisty. Even though she has such tiny hands, I reckon all the nurses are wrapped around her little finger.”