A TINY baby suddenly developed breathing difficulties when she was only four weeks old.

Within 24 hours Freya Bryning underwent emergency heart surgery.

Northwich Guardian:

Freya Bryning was diagnosed with aortic stenosis when she was only four weeks old

"It was the longest two hours of our lives," said Freya's mum, Laura, 27, from Rudheath. "Taking our healthy normal baby to the doctor and being told she had to have surgery on her heart was really worrying. It was awful, we just thought she had a chest infection."

Northwich Guardian:

Baby Freya Bryning underwent emergency heart surgery when she was only four weeks old

Mum-of-two Laura became alarmed when she noticed Freya's breathing had changed.

"She was gasping and grunting,"she said. "The doctor called an ambulance and rushed us to Leighton Hospital. An x-ray picked up that her heart was slightly enlarged."

Specialists diagnosed aortic stenosis, a heart defect that restricts blood flow from the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

"The valve on her aorta was partly fused shut and oxygenated blood wasn't getting round her body as it should," said Laura.

Freya was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital for a lifesaving operation.

Northwich Guardian:

Laura Bryning said doctors and nurses were fantastic and kept them constantly informed as they diagnosed and treated Freya

"Doctors and nurses were fantastic," she said. "They saved her life. We couldn't pick her up and hold her for 48 hours while she was sedated in intensive care. It was lovely to see all her colour come back. It was like getting a new baby again.

Northwich Guardian:

Freya Bryning with brother Jack, mum Laura and dad Jack

"When the surgeon came round we just couldn't thank him enough. It is just incredible what they can do. Your world has turned upside down but they say they are just doing their job.

"The support they give to parents is amazing. They reassure you and let you know what is happening all the time."

Northwich Guardian:

Laura Bryning can't thank doctors and nurses enough for saving the life of her baby daughter Freya

To show their appreciation, Freya’s family and her uncle Dave, chairman of Barnton Juniors, organised a charity football match on Friday and so far has raised more than £3,000.

Dave and Freya’s dad Jack, 33, work at Barclays Bank, which pledged to match the fundraising.

Northwich Guardian:

Freya's family and uncle Dave, chairman of Barnton Juniors, organised a charity football match in aid of Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Dave said: "The quality of care at Alder Hey is second to none. This is a small token of our thanks so they can carry on their amazing work for other families."

Freya, now three months old, is making a good recovery and loves playing with her 20-month-old brother Jack.

Northwich Guardian:

Freya adores her big brother Jack

"I'm so glad I trusted my instinct and took her to the doctor, " said Laura, who works as an estate agent. "She is doing really well. She is just a happy chilled out little baby.

"She adores her big brother and follows him round the room with her eyes.

Northwich Guardian:

Freya Bryning will be monitored for the rest of her life but will lead a totally normal life

"She will be monitored for the rest of her life. She will have to have the same procedure, a balloon dilation of the aortic valve, in the coming months as she grow but it is not life limiting and she will lead a totally normal life."

Laura and Jack are both from Lostock Gralam and attended schools Lostock Primary and Rudheath High.

"We thought the football match would be a small event with our own family and friends," said Laura. "But we received tremendous support. It was something that brought everyone together and just goes to show how much people appreciate Alder Hey."