A young woman who was born with her heart back to front is looking ahead to her 18th birthday after fears she never would.

When Star Regan was born on April 27 2007, her dad Stephen, 38, and her mum Philippa, 37, Pritchard knew that “there was something wrong, related to her heart”.

It turned out Star had transposition of the great artery, meaning that the two main blood vessels were in the wrong positions, which is considered rare.

'We knew there was something wrong.'

Her veins were also the wrong way round, so her blood was not being pumped with oxygen from her lungs.

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At just 10 days, she underwent a major twelve-hour operation to move these parts to the right place, which Stephen says without it she would have died.

Stephen – who lives in Deane - added: “At the 20-week scan Philippa had some amniotic fluid drained, so we were prepared for it happening.

'It was very worrying and the not knowing part'

“We didn’t know specifically what it was, but we knew there was something wrong, and that it was related to her heart.

“They narrowed it down to what it might have been.

The Bolton News: Star with her dad StephenStar with her dad Stephen (Image: Public)“It was very worrying, and it was not just that she was poorly, but the unknown of just not knowing, and it was stressful.

“We didn’t want anything negative to come in, and we just believed her operation would fix her and fortunately it did.”

Stephen says that Star is his “miracle” baby and though she was born with two holes in heart, she has such a good heart and he could not be prouder of her.

'I am extremely proud of her and she has gone through a lot'

Star has since gone on to study food and hospitality at Bolton College, works part-time at Marks & Spencer, and is also captain of her cheerleading squad ‘Heirforce Cheer’.

Stephen said: “It’s on her mind, but she doesn’t let it stop her from doing anything.

“I am extremely proud of her and she has gone through a lot as I was recently in a car crash and in a coma for a month.”

Stephen suffered serious injuries in a crash in Old Kiln Lane, Heaton, on July 14. 

Star says she is now excited to celebrate her 18th, and she is proud of what she has overcome and where she is in life.

'I feel grateful to be here'

She said: "I am proud of how well I am now, and I am quite proud of my story.

"It makes me feel grateful to be here.

"Even though I know everything is going to be okay, it can still be nerve-wracking, and you still have that feeling of what if.

"I recently experienced with my dad what it was like to nearly lose someone, and it's not a nice feeling.

"I am grateful that my dad is okay."

Her parents named her Star, four weeks after her life-saving surgery, to give her a unique name and for her to know how special she was.

The Bolton News: Star nowStar now (Image: Public)Star continues to go for regular scans, but as she reaches her 18th birthday they are becoming further apart.

Stephen said: “Her heart has grown as they have anticipated it to, but she still has a slight murmur on her heart.

“I am thankful for all the staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after we were there for about five and a half weeks.

“Star is going from strength to strength."

Star also has two younger sisters now, Lexi, 12, and Orla, two. 

Stephen and the family have organised a special birthday party for Star and her friends.

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