'Cheeky' Claire hits her stride

ALL HEART: Seven-month-old Claire Lilley Hammermeister had open heart surgery soon after she was born but is now hitting of all her milestones.
ALL HEART: Seven-month-old Claire Lilley Hammermeister had open heart surgery soon after she was born but is now hitting of all her milestones. Julia Baker

KRISTIE Sutton isn't sure what she'll say when her daughter asks about the chest scar she has from undergoing heart-surgery when she was just seven weeks old.

"I know she's going to ask; I'll just say that she was meant to be here and we had to get her in to surgery to save her,” Ms Sutton said.

But for now it doesn't matter because 7-month-old Claire Hammermeister still can't talk and since recovering from her operation she's been healthy and hitting all of her milestones.

Claire Hammermeister was born three weeks premature with a heart defect known as Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Drainage (TAPVD) a condition where the hole in the heart doesn't naturally heal within a few days of being born.

Ms Sutton said since then Claire has grown into a "very cheeky and happy” baby and that her development had "been spot on.”

"We went for a check up in January and all of her tests came back fine and the doctors said 'we'll see you again in 12 months.'

"She's sitting up, smiling, she's into everything and she wants to crawl - she's not far off crawling, I think it will only be another week or so.

"She pokes her tongue out a lot and she's just learnt to blow raspberries and she likes waking up at 3am every morning - that's about the time she was born.”

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