Born with a heart the size of a 20c piece
TWO days after arriving in this world Oliver Jeffrey had his first heart operation - a keyhole procedure to urgently improve blood flow.
Today, just two weeks older, the battling bub from Sydney will have a second, this time a full open heart surgery to re-plumb his tiny heart which is only half formed and no bigger than a 20c piece.
And before six months is out there will likely be two more operations to give the him a chance at leading a normal life.
Oliver was born on February 13 with hypoblastic left heart syndrome, a type of congenital disease where the left side of the heart does not form correctly, and hasn't left the Children's Hospital at Westmead since.
After his birth he was rushed straight down the corridor to the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care. His parents Sarah and Andrew Jeffery discovered something wrong in the 24th week of pregnancy.
"The course of the operations is so they can re-plumb everything so Oliver can live with half a heart," Sarah said.
"There is no cure, but this gives him a chance to survive and have some quality of life. It's hard, he looks so well at the moment, but these operations will give him a better long-term outcome."
The Newcastle family, who have two other young daughters, have moved into the new Ronald McDonald House and put their eldest daughter into the hospital school.
"It's been fantastic to have the hospital school here, so we've been able to keep the family together," Ms Jeffrey said.
"There is no cure, but this gives him a chance to survive and have some quality of life."
Father Andrew Jeffrey said they were extremely grateful for the support: "It's a very surreal sort of place, it's all the sickest of sickest babies and all the staff are lovely and kind.
"Everybody from the doctors to the nurses to administration staff, they make it a lot easier for us to be here," he said.
"Travelling from out of area to hospital without any accommodation would have been really hard so we've been lucky enough to get in to Ronald McDonald house and stay there for potentially six months," Mr Jeffrey said.
Oliver is one of the thousands of patients helped by the Children's Hospital at Westmead every year. Today, the hospital launches its month-long annual Bandaged Bear Appeal to raise vital funds to continue its lifesaving care.
The hospital encourages people to donate or hold a fundraising event for the cause.