After trying for 30 minutes to bring two-week-old Woody Lander back to life, doctors decided there was nothing more they could do and called in his parents to say their tearful farewells.
The lifeless baby suddenly coughed and moved. Nurses immediately grabbed Woody back, re-attached the tubes and lifesaving equipment and he came back to life in front of his astonished parents.
No one has been able to explain why Woody, who had suffered a massive heart attack, was able to return from the brink. And despite being starved of oxygen for so long, he appears to have suffered no permanent brain damage.
Now 14 months old, Woody is a happy-go-lucky youngster who should be able to lead a normal life. His parents Jon, 34, and Karen Lander, 32, still can’t believe what they went through.
They had been shopping in a supermarket near their home in Leeds in December 2005 when they noticed Woody looked ashen and felt cold.
They rang the NHS Direct emergency line from their car and an ambulance was sent to take them to Leeds General Infirmary. Soon after arrival, he suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing.
Mr Lander, a civil servant, recalled: “It was awful, those 30 minutes seemed to last forever. After what seemed like an eternity the doctor came out and said, ‘I think we have done all we can’. They had reached the cut-off point for resuscitation.
“We were taken back to see him and Woody was handed to us to say goodbye. We were just in bits. We didn’t know what to say or do. They started taking his tubes out and that’s when he started twitching.
“They took him straight back off us. They managed to get his heart going again and he came back to life in front of us. It was amazing. We still don’t know how he managed to come round – we just know he’s a little miracle. He’s growing up into a happy and healthy little boy.”
While my son was in the NICU, I heard many stories like this. The nurses would tell me about babies that the doctors had decided to disconnect. They would call the parents in, unhook the baby from all of the equipment and wait for them to go peacefully in their parents arms. The babies must have known that it was their time to shine..and sometimes the little monkeys wouldn’t give up. After 10 or 15 minutes the nurses would have no choice but to reconnect the baby to their machinery.
Doctors can only predict with some degree of accuracy what the outcome will be. Each person has their own spirit and capabilities. No one really knows for sure what the future will hold for anyone.
Are they miracles or fighters???