A newborn baby who failed to breathe for the first 23 minutes of her life was saved by a doctor who refused to let her die. Distraught Charlotte Richards feared the worst as a 15-strong crash team battled to save her tiny daughter Beatrix. The child had stopped breathing and after 20 minutes, the normal cut-off point, medics were about to give up. But one consultant urged a final attempt to save her because he said the tiny baby reminded him of his own daughter. At the last moment, little Beatrix coughed and spluttered and came back to life. Relieved Mrs. Richards, 24, said: ‘As I brought her out she didn’t breathe and I knew something wasn’t right.
‘The midwife took her and all the panic buttons were pressed. ‘After they’d been working on her for 15 minutes I’d pretty much given up hope. It seemed like a lifetime.‘I felt like I was in a film – it was just awful. It was as if someone had just slammed the door on our life. ‘But after 23 minutes this one consultant said they should try just once more – and it worked.‘Afterwards he told me that something about her reminded him of his own daughter and he had decided not to give up. It’s a miracle really. Beatrix, who weighed 6lb 2oz, arrived in a water birth at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, suffering from perinatal asphyxia after a placental bleed.
The condition results in newborns being deprived of oxygen and often causes brain damage or death.After Beatrix was revived she was rushed into intensive care for two-and-a-half hours.Mrs. Richards and estate agent husband Lloyd had to wait another two hours before they got to see their baby for the first time. They were only allowed 10 minutes with her because of her fragile condition and they were warned to take photos in case the worst happened and she didn’t make it.That evening she was transferred to specialists at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital where she was wrapped in a cooling blanket for 72 hours.It circulated water around her tiny body and brought down her core body temperature, reducing the risk of brain damage.Four days after she was born Mr. and Mrs. Richards were finally able to hold her for the first time. Ten weeks on, Beatrix is now home and well in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. An MRI scan during her traumatic first days showed that she suffered none of the brain damage feared.
Mr. Richards, 39, said: ‘We have been very, very lucky’.Mrs. Richards, an accounts director, added: ‘I’m not surprised that my daughter is a fighter. ‘My mum is battling cancer at the moment and winning – there’s a lot of tough women in our family.‘But until she came out of hospital it was 10 days, especially the first four days, that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.‘It’s just lovely to have her home.’ The grateful couple, who also have a healthy three-year-old daughter Isabella, are now fundraising for the Harlow hospital to show their thanks.