'Little fighter' Rian battling complex mix of heart conditions

Rian Ducker at 11 months old.

Rian Ducker at 11 months old. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

A brave one-year-old boy is already defying all the odds after being born with a complex mix of rare heart conditions.

Doctors said Rian Ducker would need three surgeries before his first birthday, but he is soon to celebrate his second birthday and has so far managed to stay away from the operating table.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Justine Ducker with son Rian in February 2020. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

Rian was born in 2019 and suffers from a number of serious conditions, including a large hole in his heart, severe pulmonary stenosis a complete heart block and congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (CCTGA).

His mum Justine, from Wymondham, had no idea anything was wrong until her 20-week scan.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Rian Ducker, who will soon turn two, has been battling a series of complex heart problems since he was born. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

She said: "I'd already had three scans so we thought everything was fine, so it was just supposed to be routine but then we got the shock of our lives.


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"We went down to Great Ormond Street and they confirmed it was very complex and that he'd need a life of surgery.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Rory, 5, looks after his little brother Rian in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

"Touch wood, he hasn't had any so far so he's done way better than they ever expected."

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Rian struggles with his breathing on a daily basis and will require a pacemaker to be fitted, but the family is holding off to allow him to become as big and as strong as possible as it will make the procedure less risky.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Justine Ducker with boys Rian, left, and Rory. The family has been fundraising for Great Ormond Street in London after the hospital's care for Rian. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

It means they have been forced to isolate as the risk of Rian getting ill is too high.

"But we do have amazing family and friends who have helped us every step of the way," Mrs Ducker said.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

James and Justine Ducker with their two boys Rian, left and Rory. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

The family has been fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, as "the care we've had has been unbelievable".

A cake bake last year saw more than £1,000 raised, while the whole family is now walking a mile every day which has raised another £2,000.

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Justine's sister Danielle Turner with partner Lewy and their children Daisy and Alfie. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

Justine, 31, Rian's dad James, 34, and his brother Rory, five, have been taking part, as have Justine's teacher sister Danielle Turner, 32, partner Lewy, 31, and their children Alfie, three, and Daisy, one.

Danielle said: "It's become a huge family thing, even though we're doing them separately since lockdown."

Submitted by Danielle Turner

Justine Ducker on a walk with boys Rian and Rory. - Credit: Submitted by Danielle Turner

Visit the family's fundraising page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/riangosh.

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