A Geelong mother, Kimberley Bell, recently shared her harrowing experience of reviving her baby daughter, Willow, during a cardiac arrest. The incident occurred about six months after Willow’s birth in May 2022, following IVF treatment. Willow had been diagnosed with a heart defect before she was born six weeks prematurely at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. She spent six weeks in the hospital and was due to undergo a ‘cone repair’ operation in January 2023 to improve her heart function.
However, on December 7, 2022, Willow went into a cardiac arrest, causing her parents immense worry, especially after waiting four years to have a child. Mrs. Bell recalled the terrifying experience of seeing her daughter cry out in an alarming high-pitched way, before her eyes rolled back, and her arms went limp. Mrs. Bell immediately performed CPR after realizing Willow wasn’t breathing, and thankfully, her daughter started breathing again.
The family rushed Willow to Geelong Hospital, and she was later taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, where she spent a month on a machine that helped her heart and lungs function correctly. Willow then underwent a 12-hour marathon heart surgery involving three procedures, and she has since made a full recovery.
Willow’s mother credits the hospital for saving her daughter’s life and emphasized the importance of knowing basic first aid. She also disclosed that Willow may require more operations in the future, but for now, she is thriving and is just like other babies her age. In a bid to give back to the Royal Children’s Hospital, the couple plans to participate in a Run for the Kids event to raise money for the hospital’s Good Friday Appeal.