Baby born during COVID-19 outbreak almost missed out on critical care

A baby girl who was born with a rare heart condition during Queensland's recent COVID-19 outbreak almost didn't receive lifesaving surgery with specialists in home isolation.

Baby Mia arrived almost three weeks ago, just as the state was shutting down due to the Indooroopilly cluster.

"It was scary it was," Mia's mother, Caroline Pottstock, told 9News.

But lockdown was the last thing on Ms Pottstock's mind with her daughter born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, meaning her left side of her heart doesn't develop as well as her right.

"Babies like her need the surgery as soon as possible – so waiting wouldn't be an option," she said.

The procedure is so specialised only two doctors in Queensland can perform it and both were at home in quarantine after spending time at a COVID-19 exposure site.

"As the chief health officer said we cannot let any child come into harm because of this we will do everything we can to help her," Queensland Children's Hospital director of cardiac surgery Dr Prem Venugopal said.

And they did.

The hospital granted Dr Prem an exemption to operate. Although it came with tough measures – including daily COVID-swabs and isolating away from his own family.

"It was interesting knowing your family is across the door but you can't open that door," Dr Prem said.

"I felt for him. Yeah to be away from his family," Ms Pottstock said.

But after a mammoth seven-hour surgery – it was all worth it. Little Mia is doing well.

"She's got her colour and her little personality is coming out," Ms Pottstock said.

Baby Mia will need to undergo two more surgeries, one in just a few months' time. She'll require a third and hopefully final surgery when she's roughly four.

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