A Ramsgate toddler who needed a heart transplant has sadly lost his fight for life.
Two-year-old Ronnie Ripley was rushed to hospital on June 23 in critical condition. Mom Nicole had called the ambulance after her son turned blue. Initially lit blue at QEQM Hospital in Margate, Ronnie was later taken to St Mary’s Hospital and placed in an induced comma, but had to be transferred to specialist heart and lung hospital, Royal Brompton.
Following tests, Ronnie was diagnosed with the rare heart condition Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, where the walls of the heart’s major chambers become stiff and rigid and cannot relax properly after contracting. This means that the heart cannot fill with blood properly.
The toddler, who loved Paw Patrol, Shark Dog and singing songs from Frozen, initially thought he was making progress and was taken off the ventilator, but his heartbeat accelerated and he had to be calmed down once more.
He also suffered from four infections and mum Nicole was told her son had a ruptured gut.
Last month Ronnie became a little more responsive as hospital teams struggled to control infections, but this month he suffered cardiac arrest and was placed on cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.
Sadly, Ronnie passed away on Friday evening (August 19).
Devastated mum Nicole said: ‘I am heartbroken, my poor baby. I did everything I could. I will miss him every second of every day. Every part of my body hurts, I just want my boy, my only baby.
“He was the best, so loving. He will always be mama’s boy. I don’t know what I’ll do without him. The only thing that comforts me right now is knowing that he is with my sister Carla whom I lost last September.
Ronnie’s nan Lisa Russell added: ‘I feel so broken he will always be in my heart.
“I will miss him so much. He fought hard and he will always be our champion.
Family friend Lucinda Rose, who was Ronnie’s godmother, had set up a fundraiser to help the family with expenses during the toddler’s stay in hospital. The fund will now be used to pay for Ronnie’s last trip.
Lucinda said: “It’s the worst thing I’ve been through, saying goodbye to my beautiful godson. He will always be special to me and I will do everything I can to raise more funds to make sure that he is sent is what Nicole wants – magical.”