Dumbarton toddler defies odds by learning to walk and talk after heart attack and stroke

Little Kayden John Thursby defied the odds
-Credit: (Image: Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record)


A toddler from Dumbarton has shocked doctors by learning to talk and walk again after suffering a cardiac arrest and undergoing complex surgery just days after he was born.

Kayden John Thursby was born with the rare Unbalanced Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) on December 8, 2022. At 11 days old he was flown to specialists at Great Ormond Street in London where he had his first open heart surgery.

Just 24 hours after undergoing the operation suffered from cardiac arrest before medics could finally close his chest in another operation on Christmas Day, reports the Record.

READ MORE: First picture of Cumbernauld pedestrian who died after being knocked down

READ MORE: East Kilbride mum 'fears for her life' after speaking out about youth gang amid online abuse

Mum Shannon Hamilton, 28, and brother Kian, eight, spent many sleepless nights awaiting results as he spent months in hospital at the care of medics both in London and at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

The tot finally came home in February but the next month, tragedy struck again with the youngster suffering a stroke and more than 24 hours of seizures, leaving heartbroken Shannon praying for the best.

Shannon said: "Last year Kayden became poorly again and had 25 hours of seizures before he was taken for CT scans and back into ICU where he was put on the ventilator again. My world had turned upside down again.

Join Glasgow Live's WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages

"Kayden had suffered a stroke, and I was told they never knew what the future would hold for him. It was a case of waiting and seeing what he would be like.

"On March 23 Scot Star flew to London and transferred us back to Glasgow, that was some experience, I was petrified on that small plane.

Kayden John Thursby was born with the rare Unbalanced Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD)
Kayden John Thursby was born with the rare Unbalanced Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD) -Credit:Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record

"Kayden has been a little superstar throughout this whole journey and we are so proud of him. Our little warrior.

"We have spent months in and out for appointments and hospital stays but have been making so many memories at home and little breaks away. He also celebrated his first birthday at home."

In a miraculous turnaround, the 18-month-old has now returned home with his family after another admission on Christmas Eve followed by yet another surgery.

She added: "Kayden was scheduled for his Glenn procedure on January 15 this year, however on Christmas Eve he was admitted to RHC with high temp and low oxygen.

Sign up to our daily Glasgow Live newsletter here to receive news and features direct to your inbox

"On Christmas day he had two unresponsive episodes and spent nearly two months in PICU as he was very poorly."

Kayden is still due to undergo further open-heart surgery but is now spending time with his family until he is strong enough for the procedure.

Kayden was flown to Great Ormond Street in London for treatment
Kayden was flown to Great Ormond Street in London for treatment -Credit:Tony Nicoletti/Daily Record

His astonishing development has impressed medics and he has now started to crawl, stand, and chatter to his big brother.

She added: "We are back home now waiting for the procedure. Kayden had learned how to crawl, and now there is no stopping him.

"He is just amazing, everyone loves him. He loves waving and giving thumbs up to everyone saying hello.

"The Glasgow staff are phenomenal and go above and beyond, from nurses to doctors I can't thank them enough and will be forever grateful for the care and support."