A miracle baby who was expected to not survive for long is set to go home after 600 days in the hospital.
Thanks to NHS doctors at the Bristol Children’s Hospital, in England, who devised a new breathing therapy catering to the baby’s needs, eventually giving him a second chance at life.
Parents Jamie and Shannon Turner, from Plymouth, Devon, were told to prepare for the worst for their tiny son, Archie, after the newborn contracted pneumonia just weeks after birth and was unable to even open his eyes.
However, the resolute British couple looked for all possible options as their baby fought for his life.
With the worried parents initially seeking out a chance to start treatment in the United States in 2019, the protocol was designed to enable Archie’s lungs to grow at their own rate by making changes to the ventilator’s setting of high pressure and low rates.
However, the doctors at Bristol Children’s Hospital soon devised a newer option and instead used the adjusted settings to create Archie’s protocol. The parents can’t believe the remarkable improvement their little son has made.
“I went into labor when I was five months’ pregnant and Archie was born weighing just 1 pound 13 ounces,” Shannon told Caters News Agency. “[H]e has always been a fighter.”
“We were in the NICU for months, and everybody else’s babies were going home, but Archie just kept getting sicker and sicker after he contracted pneumonia,” Shannon said.
“In June, his doctors told us that he would not survive, and that we’d never take him home from the hospital. But now, he’s a completely different child. Doctors created what they’re calling Archie’s Protocol and it has literally saved him.”
At just 27 weeks into Shannon’s pregnancy, baby Archie was diagnosed with chronic lung disease. The brave toddler turned 1 in March this year.
“When he eventually got off all of his sedation that he was on for 10 months, he was able to play and work on his development,” Shannon said.
“He has an absolutely hilarious personality, full of sass and a complete diva. He literally belly laughs now, and his personality just shines through.”
Shannon added that they observed a difference in Archie’s health with the passage of time.
“[T]he more that the months went on, the better he got,” she said. “Archie had his first birthday in March … we never thought we would get there at all.”
“When we were changing over to the settings,” Shannon recalled, “I remember sitting there constantly looking at the clock waiting for our consultant, I felt sick and was a nervous wreck.”
“As we prepare to head home, we will be having a carer seven nights a week to watch Archie when he’s asleep as he has a tracheotomy and needs watching all the time.”
Shannon said if Archie didn’t need the carers they would have left the hospital months ago. She said her baby is doing “so well” now and even the consultants say that they are “just babysitting.”
“I can’t wait to show him home,” the mom said. “[W]e can finally focus on development and important parts like laughing and making noise—hearing him laugh is a complete treasure.”
“We can never thank the nurses in Bristol PICU enough, for always being absolute stars and the best of friends we could have,” Shannon said. “Our consultant was amazing, he took the strength to take the risk and saved Archies life.”
A spokesperson of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust told Caters News Agency: “We continue to provide the best possible care and have developed an individualized plan for Archie with the involvement of his family.
“As an NHS organization we have a duty to respect patient confidentiality and as such we are unable to provide any further information about Archie or his treatment.”
Caters News Agency contributed to this report.