THE family of a seriously ill baby girl are fighting a race against time to get their daughter the urgent medical attention she needs to survive.

Young Bella-Rose, who is now nine months old, was born four months early and suffers of serious health conditions, including a hole in her heart which is slowly getting bigger.

Her parents Lisa Middleton, 37, and Lee Campbell, 37, of Long Lynderswood, Basildon, are desperately trying to raise £16,000 for private corrective surgery to fix the hole, known as an Atrial Septal Defect.

The waiting list for this surgery on the NHS is between two and three years and health professionals have told the parents that if the procedure is not done by the time the tot is 10-years-old then she could suffer heart failure.

Lisa, a mum-of-four, said: “Bella-Rose was born at about 16 weeks and weighed just 660g, she was born prematurely as I had sepsis and so I had to have an emergency Caesarean Section. I was begging the doctors not to take her out as I thought she would die.

“I was only concerned about the baby, but the hospital said she could have died if she caught the sepsis from me.

“Because her lungs were not quite developed she has to be put on a ventilator and this caused Chronic Lung Disease.

“She was also born with Sever Reflux in her stomach which means that her stomach does not function properly and so we have to feed her through tubes that go straight into her stomach.”

She said her daughter has another defect hole in her heart known as Patent Ductus Arteriosus and has undergone surgery to place a clip to hold this hole together.

This operation was undertaken at St Thomas’ Hospital, London in July 2017.

Bella-Rose also had another operation at Portland Hospital, London in January this year to insert tubes into her intestines.

Lisa added: “We just want our little girl to have as much of a normal life as she can. She gets very tired so easily because of the hole in her heart.

“She is sleeping for about 20 hours everyday because she is so tired.

“We just feel that it is so unfair she is coping with so much and is such a little fighter.

“We think its awful that we can’t give our daughter a normal life because it’s down to money.”

The mother has been in touch with the Octopus for a Preemie UK charity which supports premature babies. Catherine Davison from the charity set up an online funding page for the family.

Ms Middleton said: “Catherine and the other charity workers have been so kind and supportive I can’t put it into words how much it means to us all.”

To donate to the family’s cause and help Bella-Rose visit //