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Child given hours after being born with ‘lifeless bowl’ defies medical doctors

Child Connie in intensive care and now (Acquire/PA Actual Life)

A untimely child who was anticipated to die a couple of hours after being born when surgeons found she had a lifeless bowel has made a full restoration towards the chances, along with her mom saying “we have been crying completely satisfied tears ever since”.

When Deborah La Spina, 36, a advertising specialist from Sutton, London, gave start, all the things appeared regular – however after a couple of hours, her child, Connie, now six months, started vomiting, needed to be resuscitated and was rushed to the closest kids’s specialist hospital.

The hospital, St George’s, was the one one within the UK that might perform an emergency process which might save Connie’s life.

After “being in the precise place on the proper time”, Deborah and her husband Dominic’s journey with Connie didn’t get any simpler – after a number of surgical procedures, IV drip feeding and three months in hospital.

Earlier than Connie was born, antenatal scans revealed she had an stomach cyst, which Deborah and Dominic had been informed to not fear about – little did they know, it might turn into life-threatening.

Connie was born one month early, on July 27 2022, at St Helier Hospital, London – all appeared effectively, and her dad and mom had been overjoyed with their new arrival.

Deborah mentioned: “The examiner informed me that the cyst hasn’t induced her any hassle, so I used to be massively relieved and I breastfed her and he or she fed superbly.

“However, inside a couple of minutes, she began vomiting – that is after I knew one thing was terribly fallacious.”

Just a few hours later, Connie was blue-lighted to St George’s, a specialist kids’s hospital in London, after persevering with to vomit and having to be resuscitated.

Deborah defined: “That is once they mentioned she has some type of an intestinal blockage.

“I did not understand how dangerous issues had been till they did some scans and mentioned they wanted to function instantly to take away a small piece of bowel.

“They mentioned all the things needs to be OK, and we’ll be dwelling in a couple of weeks.

“So we waved our child daughter, who was just a few hours outdated, off to the theater and we hoped for the perfect.

“I had simply given start, so I did not actually know what was occurring. I simply trusted that the medical doctors knew what they had been doing.”



After almost 5 hours, Connie’s surgical procedure was over.

Deborah defined: “The surgeons arrived again, they usually appeared genuinely shocked. They appeared like they’d seen a ghost.

“They defined that issues had been far worse than they anticipated and her gut was twisted, reducing off the blood provide.

“We had been informed that the majority of Connie’s bowl was lifeless and never appropriate with life. We had been terrified.

“I used to be ready for the information of them telling me all the things goes to be OK, however that punchline by no means got here.”

The surgeons defined to Deborah and Dominic that the surgical procedure they carried out was unconventional, St George’s was the one hospital that might do it, and they didn’t need to hand over on Connie.

Deborah mentioned: “The chance was excessive and the chances had been low. Even when the surgical procedure labored, her high quality of life could be very questionable.

“They tried one thing they would not have completed except they thought there was some hope.

They appeared like they’d seen a ghost

“So whereas we had been deeply shocked, saddened, and terrified, we had one thing to hold on to they usually weren’t telling us this was the very, very finish.

“So we simply clung on to that for pricey life.”

As the times glided by, there was progress – Connie got here off her remedy and ventilator and was moved from intensive care into the excessive dependency unit, the place she was given parenteral diet via an IV drip.

Deborah mentioned: “She miraculously was solely in intensive look after one week. After surgical procedure, we had been informed seven days was a crucial interval, and if it did not go to plan, she would die.”

Connie improved within the subsequent week, and the medical doctors had been in a position to train her the way to settle for milk, and did so by feeding it via her abdomen straight.



Six weeks later, she underwent one other process to take away the tube holding her bowel collectively – which Deborah mentioned was “the true take a look at to see if all the things had labored”.

After issues had been wanting up, only one week later Connie started vomiting once more, and so she had one other surgical procedure to take away much more of her bowel.

Deborah mentioned: “It was scary, as a result of she was doing so effectively. I used to be very nervous, and when she began vomiting, that is when my coronary heart simply sank. It was very, very powerful.

“It was powerful for Dominic too, he was making an attempt to stay optimistic I believe for me.

“We needed to keep in mind, at this stage, it was nonetheless simply high quality of life extra so than her precise life.”

The surgical procedure was profitable, and revealed Connie had grown new bowels, that means she might be fed orally.

Deborah defined: “She had recovered higher than anybody had anticipated.

“The surgeons got here out with smiles on their faces.

“As an alternative of her needing years of this parenteral diet to assist her development, and absorption of vitamins, we had been taking a look at possibly six to 12 months. In order that was a giant deal.”

Just a few days later, after three months of Connie being in hospital and “emotional hell”, Deborah and Dominic might lastly take Connie dwelling.

Deborah mentioned: “We visualized that day on daily basis.

“Whenever you discover out you are pregnant you visualize strolling out of the hospital with the automotive seat in your hand and watching the husband in entrance of the hospital door.

“It was very totally different from after I walked out of St Helier along with her in an incubator and an ambulance.

“So after we lastly bought to stroll out of the hospital and put her into the automotive, we simply checked out one another and had only a sigh of reduction – we have made it, we have gotten via the hardest, most difficult time of our lives.

“I would not want it on anyone.”

Deborah defined how grateful she was for the staff at St George’s, saying: “We simply could not consider our luck that we came across this staff who’re in a position to repair our very sick little child.

“I believe we have been crying completely satisfied tears ever since.”

Deborah and Dominic took Connie dwelling on Halloween in 2022, with none parenteral diet, and had been welcomed by their family members.

She mentioned: “We drove up within the automotive and Connie’s sister, Peigi, got here working out.

“We had been lastly a household of 4, we had been in a position to start our lives all collectively.

“Our lives had been basically torn aside as a result of we had been within the hospital a lot.

“It was the largest reduction, and we’re so grateful for our miracle child.”

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