Jack Wilshere scared his daughter was going to die in open-heart surgery

Former Arsenal footballer Jack Wilshere and his family. (Image: Jack Wilshere/BBC News.)

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere confessed that he was “100 per cent” sure that his daughter might die during a five-hour surgery after a hole was discovered in her heart. Wilshere, who welcomed a first child with wife Andriani Michael in 2018, retired from football last summer.

Following Siena’s first birthday, however, they started noticing frequent health issues. In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Andriani opened up: “She was getting chest infections, tonsillitis, was on antibiotics a lot and we were in and out of the doctor’s room constantly.

“We were told it was exercising due to asthma because I noticed, especially at kids birthday parties or when she is on the trampoline, the more she was doing exercise, she was having coughing fits.”

When Siena reached the age of five, a GP thought they detected a heart murmur which led to Andriani taking her to a cardiologist, the news they received was shocking. “I was preparing to travel with my team for a game like we normally do and my phone rang,” Wilshere shared.

An emotional Andriani recalled: “I just rang Jack and burst – I fell to the floor as I couldn’t believe the news. It was shocking.” Wilshere added: “Our lives were turned upside down.”

Fast-forwarding to March this year, Siena was scheduled for a five-hour open heart surgery following her diagnosis of sinus venosus atrial septal defect, a hole in her heart.

When the former Arsenal, Bournemouth and West Ham star was asked if he thought that he might lose his daughter, Wilshere replied: “100 per cent.”

He added: “Going into ICU and seeing your daughter there, sleeping, with all these wires.”

Jack Wilshere has since become a coach at Arsenal. (Image: Getty)

“I just remember hearing her cry, and I just burst into tears, because I knew she was going to be OK, it was just the recovery,” Andriani explained further.

In Britain, 13 babies are born each day with congenital heart disease. Six decades ago, most of them would not have lived past year one.

However, thanks to advances in research, more than eight out of ten will survive into adulthood. Siena is now thriving with a family that lovingly regards her as their “Heart Warrior”.

“We’re really proud after all she’s been through and her journey,” Wilshere said. “As a footballer I’ve been through surgeries and know how hard it is to recover – and these are nothing compared to what she went through. As a five-year-old, to bounce back the way she did with so much courage. I’m so proud of her.

“There’s so many warriors out there, hopefully we can give parents support and get more research into it and try to make a difference, both into parents lives and children.

Wilshere currently serves as an ambassador for the British Heart Foundation and aims to raise greater awareness of the condition, offering support to affected children and their families.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1905270/Jack-Wilshere-daughter-open-heart-surgery