Our little mirror boy: Toddler born with organs on wrong side of his body home in time for his second birthday
- Kian was born without a right lung, spleen or appendix
A toddler born with all his internal organs on the opposite side of his body has defied the odds to go home for the first time – one year after doctors declared him clinically dead.
Kian Hill, nicknamed ‘mirror boy’ by his family, was born with situs inversus totalis, which means his internal organs developed on the wrong side of his body.
Day visit: Kian with his mother Natalie on a short trip to his home.He will be discharged from hospital in time for his second birthday next month
The condition, which affects around one in 10,000 people in the UK, usually means patients need 24-hour care and spend their lives in hospital.
Doctors gave Kian a 50 per cent chance of survival and last year he was even declared clinically dead for 30 minutes after suffering two cardiac arrests.
He also underwent a risky operation to double the width of his windpipe.
But Kian will be discharged from hospital for the first time on Friday in time for his second birthday at home in Lea Hall, Birmingham.
Mother Natalie Boughey, 22, said: ‘We just can’t wait to get Kian home. He’s never slept in his own bed because he’s been in hospital every night of his life. It’s going to be a very special homecoming.
‘The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster of emotion but to have him home will be the greatest gift of all.
‘He is such a sweet little boy, he’s been through so much pain, he never stops smiling.We call him our mirror boy.’
Mirror image: A scan reveals a missing right lung and heart on the wrong side of Kian’s body
Kian stunned doctors when he was born on August 7, 2009 after a normal pregnancy.
Medics found his heart was on the right-hand side of his body and was also back-to-front.
Both the youngster’s kidneys are twisted in reverse and his stomach and pancreas are on opposite sides with his intestines coiling in the wrong direction.
He was also born without a spleen, an appendix and a right lung and has been in hospital since birth.
Kian has undergone dozens of operations and procedures on an almost daily basis since he was born.
Every month doctors performed a bronchoscopy, a procedure where a tiny camera was inserted down this throat to inspect the width of his airways and single lung.
Then when he was just seven-and-a-half months old surgeons cut his trachea in half and slid one side on top of the other to create a wider windpipe.
The operation is so rare it has been performed on less than 50 children in the UK.
Mother Natalie, a trainee dental nurse, said: ‘I had seven scans while Kian was in my womb and they didn’t pick up any problem.
‘But I could tell that something was wrong.I just knew it innately.
‘When he was born, the medical staff took him away for tests because he was struggling to breathe.
‘We kept being told not to get our hopes up and that there was less than a 50/50 chance he would survive – we were absolutely terrified.’
Christmas Day, 2010: Kian spent the day in Birmingham Children’s Hospital on the high dependency unit
Natalie and partner Craig Hill, 27, an ambulance driver, were so convinced he would die they even planned Kian’s funeral.
Their son was declared clinically dead last February after he suffered two cardiac arrests in two days.
Stomach acid from gastro-reflux slipped down his trachea into his lungs causing his heart to stop.
But doctors managed to resuscitate him after 30 minutes. He has made such an improvement that Natalie and Craig have been allowed to take him home.
He will need monthly check-ups in hospital but is expected to live a normal life.
Natalie and Craig, who also have healthy son Ryan, four, have built a £18,000 extension to their house, which they call ‘Kian’s Wing’ to accommodate his medical equipment.
Natalie said: ‘He will have a lot of the same medical equipment at home than he does at the hospital but he is gaining in strength to come home.
‘We call it ‘Kian’s wing’ of our house. We don’t know how long he will have to be connected to the equipment.Time will tell how he develops in the future.’
Kian is fed by having a nutrient-rich milkshake called Peptamen, pumped directly into his stomach.
He will remain connected to an oxygen supply and a saturation monitor which checks his pulse and oxygen levels which he will transport on a mobile trolley.
Dr Jane Clarke, Kian’s respiratory consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: ‘Kian is an amazing boy who was born with a very unusual condition which has caused him numerous health problems, including a missing lung and very narrow trachea.
‘We don’t know what the future holds for him, but he is a happy and slot cheeky little boy, despite his health problems.’