This new born baby from Walkden, England was infected by a rare virus, which caused him to have a heart attack, and left him with less than a 4% chance of survival. It was simply a miracle that he survived, and was back home in time for Christmas!
William Prince was born a healthy baby weighing 7.1 lbs. in August. All seemed well for his first week, which he spent with his mom Rachel, his dad Edward, and his 2-year-old sister Isabelle. But, things soon took a turn for the worse, and his health suddenly started to deteriorate. Just one look at his pale grey face, and immediately his mother knew she had to called for help.
It is a mother’s worst nightmare to know her child might be in danger. Just 8 days old, William was too young to understand or to tell others what was happening: he had suffered a heart attack. He gradually stopped taking his bottle until eventually refusing to feed altogether. At that point, the child took a dreadful turn for the worse.
Rachel, 29, said: “I got my husband to ring NHS [National Health Service] Direct because I knew he needed checking out, but then within seconds his color just dropped.
“He was pale grey, almost see-through, and was mottled and panting for breath.
“I had to keep rousing him to keep him awake.”
The worried parents phoned an ambulance and were taken to Royal Bolton Hospital.
Rachel and Edward were told their precious baby had suffered a heart attack and was unlikely to survive.
They were advised to transfer him to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, which specializes in cardiac cases, and they immediately rushed the baby there.
Rachel said: “After many hours of working to stabilize him we followed the ambulance there, where we were allowed to see him.
“This tiny little boy lay helpless, ventilated with wires everywhere.
“The team told us to prepare for the worst but he kept fighting, defying the odds.”
A series of tests were conducted, and after three days, Will’s blood reports came in. They learned that he had suffered an attack from a rare virus called neonatal enteroviral myocarditis, which had most likely caused the heart attack; and now he just had a 3.4 per cent chance of survival.
William, who was fondly referred to as ‘Prince Wills’ by hospital staff, continued to fight against the life-threatening disease, but the pressures on his heart caused more complications, and his parents were told a therapy called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) would be his last hope.
ECMO therapy is done with a machine that takes over the functions of a person’s heart and lungs, while the surgeons work on the organs giving them a chance to be treated and healed.
He underwent two more operations and spent 11 weeks in intensive care. During this period he suffered more complications, including catching bronchiolitis, just a week before he was due to go home.
Rachel added: “At one point when he was in intensive care they told us to say goodbye, because they didn’t think he would survive.
“My husband held his hand and said goodbye but I couldn’t, I refused and said he’ll be coming home for Christmas.”
Through all this ordeal, Will fought as bravely as the little soul could, and finally did pull through and recovered managing to go home 12 days before Christmas.
William is now finally back home for good. His heart has suffered severely, and it is unlikely he will make a full recovery. He needs regular medical attention and has to be kept under surveillance with regular checks and scans. But now he is out of danger, thriving and starting to develop as a normal healthy baby should.
The mother is also planning a fundraising bungee jump at Salford Quays later this year.
She said: “He has some visual challenges but he is improving—he has no option with his big sister Isabelle always there to play with him.
“We just want to say a huge thank you to Alder Hey for not only believing in our son, saving his life and treating us as family, but for going that extra mile to make sure we were OK. Even in the worst situations they made us smile.”
“I want to say a special thank you to the head consultant at Alder Hey who believed in Will from day one,” she continued. “We want to raise as much money as we can to give something back.
“We met many families along the way, some lost their precious children and others are still in their and fighting. I want them to know they are forever in our hearts.”