West Cumbrian baby Leo McIntyre’s fight shows he has the biggest heart
"I remember placing my hand on Leo's chest and his torso was almost the same size as my hand," she said. "I kept thinking to myself how on earth are they going to operate on something so small.
"We felt physically sick the morning Leo was taken to theatre, The surgeon warned us that he could take 10 Leo's into surgery but only nine would come back out. We had no idea whether Leo would be one of those nine
"Andrew and I sobbed while holding Leo's hands in ours. We felt guilty but
Leo McIntyre with brothers Lewis and Curtis
"The operation took over seven hours and it was the longest day of our lives."
The surgery was a success, but the couple faced further heartache as Leo suffered a cardiac arrest when he was eight days old and was put on life support and a week later he contracted sepsis.
Baby Leo McIntyre with dad Andrew and mum Michelle
"We intend to give back," said Michelle. "We would not have been able to get through these trying and difficult times had it not been for Scott House, the amazing team at Freeman Hospital and our friends and family.
"We would like to say a big thank you to all who have offered their support and help throughout Leo's journey. It has helped massively and has been a great comfort to know how much everyone cares and is willing to help even though they are miles away.
"Everyone's support has made a huge difference to this horrendous time. And it's lovely that there are so many people helping us to give something back to the places that have helped our baby boy so far."
Leo McIntyre with brothers Lewis, 16, and Curtis, 7
And Michelle's cousin, Paula Prosser who has arranged numerous events to raise money to financially support the couple while they have stayed with Leo in hospital.
Anne McKain has also donated money from Sarah's Star Fund, and Michelle's mum who has been raising money for Scott House since last year.
The next fundraiser, a prize bingo, takes place on May 7 at St Mary’s Club, Kells from 3pm.
The Sick Children's Trust, which supports the family through its Home from Home accommodation is trying to raise £65,000 through a Big Chocolate Tea campaign, which starts on Friday. (April 21) The charity is urging people to get involved by hosting a tea party, cake sale or bake-off and visiting www.sickchildrenstrust.org/bigchoctea