Walk­ing tall, boy who had stroke at 8 hours old

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Lucy Laing

WHEN Frankie Gill suf­fered a stroke only eight hours af­ter be­ing born, he faced an un­cer­tain fu­ture be­cause of the brain dam­age he sus­tained.

But to­day, at 17 months old, he has de­fied the odds and lives a nor­mal life, hav­ing suf­fered no long-term ill ef­fects.

His mother Han­nah, 25, said: ‘We didn’t know what the fu­ture would hold for Frankie. We were told he had suf­fered dam­age to the left parts of the brain but we had to wait and see what that dam­age would mean for him.

‘Amaz­ingly, he has done re­ally well and doesn’t seem to have suf­fered any side ef­fects. The doc­tors said that be­cause he was so young, his brain has been able to re­pair it­self as he has de­vel­oped. He has been in­cred­i­bly lucky.’

Miss Gill, who lives in Bishop Auck­land, Co Durham, with her sol­dier part­ner Michael Donkin, 26, had en­joyed a smooth preg­nancy be­fore she went into labour in April last year at Sun­der­land Royal In­fir­mary.

But there were com­pli­ca­tions dur­ing the birth and both mother and baby needed treat­ment for sep­sis.

A few hours af­ter Frankie was born weigh­ing 8lb 4oz, he had two seizures and was sent to the neona­tal ward for spe­cial­ist care.

He was later taken for an MRI scan and the cou­ple were told that a blood clot had passed through the um­bil­i­cal cord to his brain, lead­ing to a stroke and dam­age to the left side.

Miss Gill, who also has a daugh­ter Isla, three, said: ‘I couldn’t be­lieve what I was hear­ing. How could a new­born baby have a stroke at just eight hours old. We had no idea that such a young baby could ever have such a thing.’

But af­ter he left hos­pi­tal, Frankie thrived and has so far hit all of his mile­stones, in­clud­ing tak­ing his first steps just be­fore his first birth­day in April. Miss Gill said: ‘He’s such a de­ter­mined lit­tle boy and af­ter such a tough start, its won­der­ful to see him mak­ing so much progress. He doesn’t let any­thing hold him back.’

A spokesman for the Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion said: ‘It is ex­tremely rare for a baby to have a stroke dur­ing or just af­ter birth.’

Thriv­ing: Frankie Gill now and, in­set, when he was in hos­pi­tal re­cov­er­ing from his stroke

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