After receiving life-saving surgery at only eight months old, a former patient of Harefield Hospital has graduated from Oxford University with a first class honours degree in History and French

When Jessica Helen Wells was a baby, she was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called tetralogy of fallot. Jessica had several problems with her heart, most notably her narrow arteries, of which dedicated surgeons at Harefield Hospital were eager to operate on swiftly.

Surgery to enlarge her pulmonary artery began in Easter 1995, and following initial operations at Harefield, a six-year recovery process at Royal Brompton followed.

Now 22, Jessica has fully recovered. And despite these early health complications, after years of hard work, she has earned herself a first class honours degree in History and French at Oxford University.

Jessica's grandmother Elizabeth is, not surprisingly, over the moon with Jessica, who has followed in the footsteps of her older sister, who also received a first class honours degree, at Cambridge. Elizabeth said:

To get to where she is now really is an unbelievable achievement, we’re all just so proud of her. She had four different things wrong with her heart, including narrow arteries, and to come back and achieve what she’s achieved really is incredible.

It is estimated that 1 in every 10,000 babies are affected by this rare conditionThe procedure Jessica received is known as Complete Intracardiac Repair, and is designed to improve blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body, by widening arteries that are unusually narrow. In some cases, the arteries are replaced rather than widened.

Our warmest congratulations to Jessica!