A sociable and happy baby, Bronwyn Bevan does not look like the seriously ill child who won a remarkable fight for life nine months ago.
At three months old, she had to be flown to Melbourne for urgent heart surgery in a mercy dash to beat an ash cloud which threw Perth Airport into chaos last June.
It was the third time the tiny baby had to have surgery for a leaky valve after been born with a hole in the heart. The inquisitive Willetton baby, who celebrates her first birthday today, shows no hint of ill health as she absorbs her surroundings like a sponge.
Her father, Darryl Bevan, said his baby girl was going from strength to strength.
"At this stage, everything is going very well," he said, adding that she had not needed any more medical procedures since that day.
He said Bronwyn had developed a strong personality.
"She knows what she wants," he said.
"She doesn't like to miss out on anything and likes to be involved.
"She doesn't like to go to sleep if something is going on."
Doctors had told him and his wife Catherine there was no reason Bronwyn's heart problems should hold her back.
"There's still a bit of a leak from her valve but they weren't concerned," he said.
"They think she will be able to live a normal life and that it will have no affect at all."
Mr Bevan said the worry and anxiety he felt on the day of the mercy dash seemed a world away from what he felt when looking at his daughter now.
"Looking back and looking at her now, you would not know what she has been through," he said. "It's hard to believe."He said they would be eternally grateful to the Royal Flying Doctor Service for ensuring Bronwyn made it to her emergency heart surgery.
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