A LARGS dad has told of his pride about his ‘little warrior’ daughter who survived two major heart operations at just two years old.

Having been diagnosed with aortic stenosis, Lily Rae had to have an emergency procedure to widen her aortic valve when she was aged only four weeks.

The brave tot has then had surgery again at the age of two in a bid to delay the open-heart surgery she will require at some stage.

Her father Graeme, who is running the Great Scottish Run 10k for Glasgow Children’s Hospital, has relived the moment he was told about Lily's heart defect.

It was on the day Graeme’s fiancé and Lily’s mother, Ashleigh Murray was due to be discharged only days after giving birth.

He said: “It was a junior doctor that noticed the problem with Lily’s heart.

“It was a shock and although the doctor was great at explaining it to us, it took us until we got home to really process and research what it meant.

“Our son Finley is a year older than Lily and he was born premature, so when we found out we were just thinking ‘what has gone wrong now?’.

“It was really scary, we obviously had never heard of anything like this before.

“It was four weeks later that Lily started feeling really unwell, she just wasn’t coping and from there she had to have her first emergency procedure.

“We were put in the ward afterwards, but the decision was then made to move her to intensive care and into an incubator.

“The parents are meant to stay in the ward but the hospital staff were incredible, they set up two beds in the unit so we could stay with her.

“It really made all the difference being able to stay close to Lily and we couldn’t have done it without the staff, they were really there for us.”

Lily bounced back from her first procedure and had been leading the normal life of a tot.

But around two years old the valve and her heart started to become sluggish, resulting in another round of surgery.

While it could last Lily until she is 16, open heart surgery looks inevitable.

Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and most serious valve disease problems and involves a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, restricting blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta.

Graeme added: “It was tough to think of her getting the procedures and it’s scary to even imagine what’s going to have to happen further down the line.

“After the first procedure it did put our minds at ease a bit as we saw how well she recovered.

“She is just so brave and has fought through the procedures like a little warrior.

“After the second one she was discharged after a day and was up eating and ready to play.

“She is doing really great now and it doesn’t restrict her from doing anything that a usual two-year-old would do.”

Graeme will run the 10k on September 30 in aid of the 1E cardiology ward.

He said: “The people in the department really are supermen and superwomen.

"I can’t imagine how hard it would have been without their support throughout.

“The team have been amazing with Lily and have been so accommodating.

“They are always happy to answer our questions even if we ask the same things 500 times over.

“It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders knowing they are there when you need them.

“Being in the ward allows us to meet lots of families in the same situation and it helps us know we are not alone and can chat with them."

Graeme will run the 10k with his brother in law Kyle Murray, with all of the pair's sponsorship cash going to the cardiology ward.

Having set his target at £1,000 Graeme hopes to raise even more for the ward which has done so much forhim and his family.

To support Graeme, donate online at www.gofundme.com/gchc-ward1e-heart-warriors