A Doncaster baby has spent his first night at home with his family - just weeks after his parents were told he would not survive more than a few hours.
Warren Bostock and Jodie Smith, of Adwick Le Street, were warned that their son Daniel would die within hours after his heart stopped beating for 25 minutes shortly after he was born at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on November 10.
However, little fighter Daniel, who has severe brain damage as a result of what happened, has repeatedly defied the odds - and his proud parents were given the go-ahead yesterday to take him home in time to celebrate the big day with his family, including five-year-old brother Luke.
Warren, a 36-year-old Community Defibrillation Officer for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said what happened was a shock.
“It really did all come as a shock. We had no indication that anything like this could have happened.
“Jodie had been into hospital on the run up to the day Daniel was born as she hadn’t felt him move as much and his heartbeat was raised slightly, but there was nothing to make us think this could happen.
“When Daniel was born he wasn’t breathing and his heart had stopped. They tried to resuscitate him for 25 minutes and were about to stop but then his heart started again.
“He was immediately placed on a life support machine, but were told he would only survive a few hours so we called in family and friends and had him christened.”
However, he did survive and later the same day doctors made the decision to transfer Daniel, who has been diagnosed with a brain injury called Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, to Jessops Hospital, Sheffield, for cooling treatment.
Warren said: “They cooled his body temperature down to between 33.5 and 34.5 centigrade for 72 hours to allow his brain to relax as one of the results of HIE is that the brain will swell due to the damage.
“We were still asked several times if we want to switch his life support machine off but we wanted to carry on fighting for him.
“The thought of turning off withdrawing his care was awful. It was a living nightmare and something no parent should have to go through.”
Four days later, with Daniel still fighting against his devastating prognosis, Warren and Jodie made a ‘difficult’ decision to give him the chance to breathe for himself.
Despite being warned that the fragile youngster may not be able to cope, ‘miracle’ Daniel continued to defy odds and did breathe for himself.
Since then he has also battled with pneumonia and various infections, but he has overcome each illness.
Warren added: “He has made amazing progress over the last few weeks, he’s a miracle baby. He was transferred back to the neonatal unit at DRI on Monday December 5 as he was stable enough to go back.
“We are happy he’s now back closer to home. We are staying in a parent ward on the same ward as him as we want to be close to him.”
A recent MRI scan revealed that Daniel has damage across his brain and Warren and Jodie have been told he will be severely disabled, although it is not yet known how exactly the tot will be affected.
Although Daniel’s future is uncertain, the couple are optimistic and believe Daniel will continue to defy expectations.
They are now trying to look forward to the future, in particular Christmas.
Warren said: “We don’t know what the future holds, we were told Daniel wouldn’t live more than a few hours but he has surprised us.
“At the moment, doctors are looking at giving him physiotherapy as he can’t move his limbs fully and can be stiff.
“This has hit us hard but we have managed to stay strong for Daniel.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, sometimes you feel you are getting somewhere then suddenly he goes down hill and you are sat in a room being asked to make a question on your child’s life
The kind-hearted couple are now fundraising for Bluebell Wood Hospice in Daniel’s name, after being told that he can continue his treatment there.
To donate, visit www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/teamdaniel
You can also follow Daniel’s progress, and find out about future fundraising events, by visiting his official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/teamdanielbostock.