A BABY girl has proved she is a little fighter after making a rapid recovery from life-saving heart surgery.

Phoebe Whittle was just three weeks old when parents Charlotte and Carl noticed she was having trouble breathing.

Two weeks later, Phoebe was treated for pneumonia at the Royal Bolton Hospital and was discharged after five days.

But it was on Mother’s day that Mrs Whittle, who grew up in Blackrod, became certain there was something wrong with her baby. “She was still struggling to breathe so we took her back to hospital. I felt like I was a bit of a fraud taking her back, but one of the nurses noticed she was starting to go blue,” said Mrs Whittle.

Three-week-old Phoebe was rushed to the Royal Bolton Hospital’s high dependency unit for a heart scan and then transported to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, in a critical condition.

She was then diagnosed with a rare cardiac condition called ALCAPA syndrome — a congenital defect meaning her heart was pumping deoxygenated blood to her lungs. Doctors took Phoebe straight into theatre for heart surgery and prepared her parents for a long and difficult recovery.

But little Phoebe amazed hospital staff when she recovered fully in just 10 days.

After spending three days in intensive care and a week in the cardiac ward, she was able to go home with her parents and big brother Louis, who is 18 months old.

Mrs Whittle said: “They prepared us for the worst and said it would be horrific for months afterwards but then she recovered so quickly.

“It’s scary to think what could have happened because she did nearly die. Even though she made such a good recovery, she has been very poorly.

“There was a nurse called Cath at the Royal Bolton Hospital who decided to run a blood test on Phoebe — she saved her life.

“We’ve still got a long road to go but we know what we’re dealing with now.”

Charlotte and Carl, of Bolton Road, Westhoughton, have organised a sponsored Spinathon for the Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey where they stayed with Louis when Phoebe was in hospital.

Along with 26 friends and family, they will cycle for three hours at Vintage Fitness Studio in Bolton on July 27.

To donate, go to the website justgiving.com/princessphoebe.