Imagine experiencing the unadulterated joy of finding out you’re pregnant, then planning all the things one usually plans when expecting a new life. Now imagine you find yourself in a situation wherein you’re told your baby might not survive the first hour of life.
It’s a true nightmare scenario for any mom and dad, and my heart goes out to all who have experienced it.
Sharon Grant is one of these mothers. She delivered her daughter by emergency Caesarean section at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, England, when she was just 28-weeks into her pregnancy.
The girl, appropriately named Pixie, weighed just 1.1lbs – she’d stopped growing in the womb due to complications with the umbilical cord and placenta …
Doctors were sceptical about Pixie surviving past the first hour, and they told Sharon as much.
Pixie was rushed to intensive care, where doctors did all they could to keep her alive. She was no bigger than her mother’s hand, weighed less than a bag of sugar, and was extremely delicate.
It transpired that the doctors had no equipment small enough to keep Pixie warm – until one of them had a brainwave.
Although the concept was rather odd, no one else had a better suggestion as to how to ensure the little girl maintained the correct body temperature.
Pixie was placed into a small, sealable plastic bag from a supermarket and then rushed to the neonatal intensive care department.
This method may sound strange – possibly even dangerous – but it’s actually been used before.
According to the New York Times, the skin of such prematurely born babies releases fluid too fast. Storing them in a plastic bag or wrapping them in foil can actually warm them better than a regular blanket.
After 3 months in an incubator, @Derriford_Hosp allowed baby Pixie home: http://alturl.com/2gzaa. Born 10 weeks early &…
One of the doctors at the hospital confirmed that it’s not uncommon to place premature babies in plastic bags if they’re having difficulty regulating their temperature.
As per the Telegraph, Sharon said: “It was so random that they had her in the Tesco bag – it must have just been what the operating theatre had at the time.”
Sharon was obviously fearful for her newborn daughter, but also hopeful in the knowledge that the doctors working on her were highly skilled.
For 18 long days, she couldn’t hold her daughter because doing so could cause her to lose even more weight. For Pixie, that could have meant her life.
Nevertheless, the girl showed true fighting spirit and is healthy and well today. Three years on, she’s growing up to be an excitable little girl. Though she’s still smaller than other children her age, and requires hospital appointments regularly, she’s doing incredibly well considering the initial outlook.
What a great example of the best idea not always being the most ‘proper’ one.
Doctors were able to contribute to the saving of little Pixie’s life with just a plastic bag from the supermarket. Remarkable.
Share this story to pay tribute to all the amazing doctors who worked on Pixie, and the nurses and doctors who continue to serve tremendously every day.