Our lit­tle baby boy had 40 seizures in his first four days


Bangor Mail - - Front Page - Kelly Wil­liams

THE trau­matic birth of a cou­ple’s first-born child and the life-chang­ing treat­ment he re­ceived has in­spired them to share his story in a bid to help other ba­bies.

Lit­tle Jac Pa­trick Grif­fiths wasn’t breath­ing when he was de­liv­ered and had 40 seizures in four days due to a lack of oxy­gen to his brain.

His par­ents Laura O’Sul­li­van and Steven Grif­fiths from Ban­gor could only watch as their lit­tle boy bat­tled through af­ter be­ing trans­ferred to Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd’s spe­cial care baby unit.

It was there that he was wrapped in a “cool­ing mat” for 72 hours as part of treat­ment known as ther­a­peu­tic hy­pother­mia, which put his body in a hy­pother­mic state to limit the ex­tent of any brain in­jury.

Eleven weeks on and Jac is home and thriv­ing af­ter spend­ing the first 15 days of his life in hos­pi­tal.

It is not yet known whether he has suf­fered any per­ma­nent dam­age as a re­sult of his or­deal, but so far, tests and mile­stone checks have been pos­i­tive and he hasn’t had a seizure since.

Laura and Steven say they are in­debted to hos­pi­tal staff for every­thing they did for their son and want to re­pay them by rais­ing money for cool­ing a mat for Ys­byty Gwynedd – where there are cur­rently none – so that ba­bies starved of oxy­gen at birth can be­gin the treat­ment while they are be­ing trans­ferred to spe­cial care.

Laura said: “Jac was born at Ys­byty Gwynedd a day early on July 14 af­ter a bril­liant text book preg­nancy with no prob­lems.

“But af­ter a dif­fi­cult labour, to our com­plete shock he was not breath­ing when he was born and was im­me­di­ately taken to the spe­cial care baby unit at Glan Cl­wyd.

“Within hours he be­gan to have seizures that con­tin­ued for four days, in to­tal Jac had around 40.

“What we now know is the seizures were a symp­tom of HIE (Hy­poxic-is­chaemic en­cephalopa­thy) a con­di­tion caused by a lack of blood and oxy­gen reach­ing a baby’s brain, in Jac’s case dur­ing his birth.

“It can af­fect all of a baby’s or­gans, par­tic­u­larly the brain where a lack of oxy­gen can lead to brain in­jury caus­ing phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity and learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties.

“There is no cure for HIE, how­ever in more se­vere cases, ther­a­peu­tic hy­pother­mia can re­duce the ex­tent of dam­age caused if given shortly af­ter the oxy­gen de­priv­ing in­ci­dent.

“It in­volves the baby be­ing placed in a cool­ing mat for 72 hours.

“The mat low­ers the body tem­per­a­ture to 33.5, plac­ing the baby in a con­trolled hy­pother­mic state and as a re­sult lim­its the ex­tent of brain in­jury caused by HIE.”

The 32-year-old added: “Jac was trans­ferred to Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd at 15 hours old to re­ceive this treat­ment as there is no such equip­ment avail­able in Ys­byty Gwynedd.

“What hap­pened to Jac was un­usual but could it hap­pen to any baby.

“We have been very lucky, Jac is a healthy and happy boy and is not show­ing signs of any dam­age.

“Only time will tell if any per­ma­nent dam­age was done, but what we do know is that with­out the treat­ment it is highly likely any dam­age would be sig­nif­i­cantly worse.”

The fam­ily have now set up a crowdfund­ing page to help other ba­bies born in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions.

Laura said: “We will be for­ever in debt to all the staff at both Ys­byty Gwynedd and Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd who looked af­ter Jac.

“Our hope is that we can go some way to re­pay this debt by help­ing Ys­byty Gwynedd to pur­chase a cool­ing mat to en­sure ba­bies born there with HIE are able to start the treat­ment with­out de­lay.”

■ Jac pic­tured with mum, Laura O’Sul­li­van and dad, Steven Grif­fiths

■ Jac Pa­trick Grif­fiths was de­liv­ered af­ter a trau­matic birth

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