Parents thank medics for saving their baby’s life

Hayley and Harry Carter with Consultant Dr Chris FitzSimmons
Hayley and Harry Carter with Consultant Dr Chris FitzSimmons

A SHEFFIELD couple returned to the Children’s Hospital to thank the medical team that saved their baby’s life.

Harry Carter was only nine days old when he was rushed to the emergency department after becoming floppy and with shallow breathing as a result of what turned out to be a serious heart condition.

Doctors drilled into his shins and injected into his bone marrow to help investigate and treat the problem, battling for six hours to keep him alive.

Parents David and Hayley, of Norton Lees, were eventually told their son had a co-arctation of the aorta when the main artery from the heart is not formed properly.

“He was severely hypothermic by this point,” said Hayley, aged 32.

“His heart readings were all over the place and, most importantly, the acid levels and toxins in his blood were off the scale because his filtering organs, including his kidney and liver, were shutting down due to lack of blood supply.

“They took a blood gas reading pretty much every 20 minutes or so and I still remember when the reading started to drop, and three or four doctors punched the air in delight!”

Now aged one, Harry was taken to Leeds Cardiac Centre by Embrace Ambulance for heart surgery.

He spent two weeks in hospital and has since made a great recovery.

Hayley and David went back to the hospital to thank the doctors and nurses who saved their son’s life.

Consultant Chris Fitzsimmons was on duty. He said: “Harry was an extremely sick baby with a very low temperature and blood results as deranged as we have seen, almost not compatible with survival.

“What followed in his treatment was a fabulous example of team working across the hospital with the emergency team initiating the resuscitation, the radiology team performing the scans to confirm the diagnosis, the paediatric ICU team taking over his care to stabilise him and then the Embrace team transporting him to Leeds for his life-saving surgery.

“It is one of the best cases I have seen of the system working so well and was a credit to all involved.”

Hayley added: “One of my clearest memories from that night was how a member of staff seemed to sit with me at all times and explain what was going on.

“Of course, they understood the severity of the situation, and I can look back now at what a fantastic job they did, not just for Harry, but for me and my husband also.

“I have no idea how many of them were made to work in the early hours past the end of their shifts – the poor doctor had a trip to Leeds and back to contend with at about 2am!

“I always wanted to thank them for saving Harry’s life.”