Birth­day joy for mir­a­cle ‘frozen baby’

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - by KEN MCER­LAIN ken.mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk@etken­m­cer­lain

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

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