Ollie Paterson’s heart was the size of a thumbnail when a scan 20 weeks into mum Millie’s pregnancy uncovered a very rare congenital condition.
Millie barely got to hold her newborn boy before he was “whisked away” to Royal Children’s Hospital before undergoing surgery four weeks later.
“I didn’t get to see him for three days,” the Barwon Heads mum said.
The lower chambers in Ollie’s heart are reversed and the condition will likely affect him his whole life, Millie explained.
Ollie, who turned two in April, underwent a subsequent 18-hour operation and is now awaiting surgery, delayed by COVID-19 restrictions, to replace his current pacemaker.
Children’s charity HeartKids supported Ollie and his family with food, toys and check-ups throughout their ordeal.
The energetic, cheeky and intelligent two-year-old is now HeartKids’ new Geelong ambassador and he is encouraging locals to get involved in its Two Feet and A Heartbeat Walk on October 18.