Home News Doctors save little girl's life after her heart stops for 29 minutes

Doctors save little girl's life after her heart stops for 29 minutes

This is the amazing little girl – who survived after her heart stopped beating for twenty nine minutes.

After doctors frantically battled to bring her back to life, tiny Skye Jacobs was frozen on a special cooling mat – where her body temperature was brought down to hypothermic levels – in a bid to prevent damage to her brain.

And the treatment has worked, as Skye has now made an amazing recovery – and shows no sign of brain damage so far.

She has now started preschool and is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Her relieved mother Clara, 35, who lives in Ipswich with wife Susie, 36, said: ‘Skye has been incredibly lucky – she’s so fierce and strong willed and she fought so hard to come back to life.

‘She’s learnt to walk and is now learning to jump too, and she’s getting more and more confident all the time.’

Now the couple are raising awareness and fighting for better diagnosis of heart problems in pregnancy .

Clara added: ‘ It’s crucial that there is better detection before babies are born or at birth. Skye’s major heart defect wasn’t picked up until she was 19 months old. It should have been picked up earlier, as we could have so easily lost her.’

After Skye was born in July 2020 she failed to thrive and the couple were worried about her. They took her to the GP several times and out of hours but was told there was nothing wrong with Skye, and made to feel like neurotic mothers.

After months of worry, they are eventually given a paediatric appointment for three months time, and as soon as the paediatrician at Ipswich Hospital saw Skye, she knew the little girl was very ill.

Clara said: ‘We were referred to the Evelina Children’s Hospital the next day, and tests showed that Skye had a heart so enlarged, that her heart was working the equivalent of her running a marathon every single day.’

Skye has at least three large holes in her heart which was causing her lungs to flood with blood, and one of her major heart valves is leaking.

Clara said: ‘It was such a shock to be told that she had such a serious heart condition, and that she was so poorly. All those months we had known that something was wrong, yet were being told she was fine.’

She had open heart surgery in April 2022 to put a band around her artery to restrict blood flow to allow the holes to hopefully close or shrink. But then the following day she suffered a massive cardiac arrest and her heart stopped beating for 29 minutes.

Clara said: ‘I was putting a bit of moisturiser on her lips as they were dry, and suddenly her eyes rolled back. The doctors all ran to help and started working on her. Her heart had stopped, and they tried to get it back started for nearly 30 minutes. It was terrifying. We thought we were going to lose her. No-one could tell us if she was going to survive.

‘Thankfully they managed to get it working again, and she was put in and induced coma. She was put on a special cooling mat for three days to try and minimise brain damage.’

Skye managed to make a recovery and was allowed to return home, where she’s coming on in leaps and bounds.

The couple are supported by Tiny Tickers heart charity who are campaigning for an increase in heart defect detection rates during pregnancy. 

Clara added: ‘More lives need to be saved. Skye has been incredibly lucky to pull through, but other babies haven’t been so lucky.’

For more information visit tiny tickers.org


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