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Madeline Stuart, Model With Down Syndrome, to Have Open-Heart Surgery


Update: On Monday, Madeline Stuart’s mother, Rosanne, posted on Instagram that Madeline is out of surgery and doing OK.

On Sunday, Madeline Stuart, an Australian model who has Down syndrome, announced on Instagram she was being admitted to the hospital for open-heart surgery on Monday.

Stuart made the announcement to her followers directly from the hospital. She wrote in her post:

So today we checked into hospital, unfortunately I have gone into heart failure and my heart has enlarged to a point where if they do not operate it will not be able to be fixed. Tomorrow morning I will have open-heart surgery to hopefully repair my mitral valve that has reached a 4 out of 4 defect. I am so sorry I have not shared this news sooner but it has been a very stressful time. I know you will all be praying for me and I am so very grateful for that. I love you all.

Stuart was scheduled for surgery at the end of November, but she was sick and surgery had to be postponed. Her mother, Rosanne, wrote on Instagram, “Today we went to Prince Charles for Maddy to have surgery but unfortunately it was postponed again because of her cough. We will try again next week.”

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, half of babies born with Down syndrome have a heart defect, many of which require surgery. Rosanne wrote in a 2015 CNN article that Madeline had her first open-heart surgery when she was 8 weeks old. Doctors gave her only a 13 percent chance of survival. “Maddy was a fighter and, in the end, didn’t let the odds win,” Rosanne said.

On Monday morning, Rosanne posted an update on Instagram, letting people know her daughter had been in surgery for three hours and expected the surgery to take four or five more hours. She also thanked people for their messages and support.

“Maddy went to surgery 3hrs ago, she is with an amazing team,” Rosanne wrote. “Thank you for all your beautiful messages and we will update you when all is over.”

Banner image via Madeline Stuart’s Instagram