Birthday joy for miracle ‘frozen baby’
A “MIRACLE” baby whose life was saved against all the odds by freezing her will celebrate her second birthday today - with a clean bill of health.
Brave Ella Anderson survived following revolutionary treatment after her traumatic birth in May 2010 during which she “died” for 25 minutes.
Her mother Rachel Claxton (33) had endured a trouble-free pregnancy but during birth her placenta ruptured - meaning that Ella was denied oxygen to her brain.
Doctors at the then Peterborough District Hospital rushed to treat Ella, giving her an oxygen mask and blood transfusions - while Ms Claxton could only watch on in panic.
Eventually she was told that Ella was alive but that her condition was critical and even if she continued to live there was a high chance she would suffer brain damage.
The only hope for Ms Claxton was giving Ella cooling treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, where doctors lower a patient’s body temper- ature inducing a state of hypothermia to reduce the risk of swelling around her brain and giving it time to recover and repair itself.
But the process, which involves a patient’s body temperature being lowered by half a degree at a time and then warmed up again at the same rate, is risky and in 2010 was only on trial in the UK.
Ella was placed in a cooling blanket and her temperature allowed to fall from 37C to 33.5C. After three days it was raised by half a degree at a time and 11 days later Ella was allowed to return home.
Since then she has undergone regular physio sessions and her progress has been monitored by consultants every three months.
At her next appointment on Tuesday Ms Claxton expects Ella to be signed off with a clean bill of health, completing a remark- able recovery. Ms Claxton, of Plov- erly, Werrington, said: “For Ella to survive and recover completely is a miracle.
“She is now like any other child, she is happy and healthy. I can’t really believe what has happened.
“After Ella was born I wasn’t told what was going on and started panicking, even the midwife was crying, it was horrible.
“I was eventually told she was alive and later found out she had been dead for 25 minutes but was critical.”
Ms Claxton and Ella will celebrate her second birthday with family and friends today and Ms Claxton will also be holding a charity raffle for the Rosie Hospital at Addenbrooke’s.
Over the past two years Ms Claxton has raised over £4,000 for the venue and decided to use her experience to raise awareness about cooling treatment.
She added: “Nowadays cooling treatment is used across the UK but many people may not be aware of it.
“I believe that Ella’s progress is down to the treatment because it prevented brain damage and gave her body time to recover. “I decided to set up a Facebook page to raise awareness about it and have spoken to several parents about how it can help to save lives.”
For more information about cooling treatment and making donations to the Rosie Hospital visit www.facebook.com/ellas. journey
MIRACLE: Rachel Claxton and Ella, who is celebrating her second birthday, and above, when she was recovering as a baby in hospital