NRL News

“Miracle tot” finally released from London Hospital: Doctors told Mom her son’s odds of surviving birth were just 5%

by | Jan 4, 2021

By Dave Andrusko

Four years after Lauren Staines delivered her baby—doctors estimated his odds of survival at 5%–Max Staines has been released after nearly a half-decade of regular appointments at St. George’s Hospital in central London. 

Over the weekend, the Daily Mail’s Harriet Johnston weaved together an updated, fascinating tale of a youngster who was born with gastroschisis, a typically fatal condition characterized by multiple organs developing outside the body. 

The first time there could have been an abortion was when Max’s  father “ didn’t want to have a baby,” Lauren  told Johnston,” so I decided to go ahead with the pregnancy on my own.”

The second time was following successful scans at 12 and twenty weeks when, “ in January  2016, doctors confirmed both Max’s liver and bowels were outside of his body, but were unable to determine how damaged they would be from fluid in the amniotic sack until he was born.”

The decision to carry Max to term having been made, “expert surgeons at St. George’s put together a full birth plan,” Johnston wrote. Lauren told the Daily Mail that her pregnancy was uneventful until a day in April 2016 when she realized Max had not moved all day.

She went to the local hospital where she learned “Max’s heart rate had dropped and doctors decided to perform an emergency c-section, transferring the newborn straight to St. George’s for a six-hour operation to package his exposed stomach, liver and bowels, back inside his body,” Johnston wrote.” Lauren was unable to see her son for nine anxious hours as doctors rushed him into emergency surgery. 

She was told that Max’ s surgeon had said “it’s a lot worse than we had anticipated’. 

“But when he came back out after the operation, he had a huge smile on his face and looked at me and said ‘we managed to do a full closure,” Lauren said.

After the emergency surgery, Max had to be fitted with a long line to give his body the nutrients he wouldn’t be able to get until his stomach could digest food, and doctors had to drain the remaining fluid from around his organs with an NG tube.

But despite predictions he would need to stay in hospital for six months, the defiant tot made rapid progression, and within three weeks was on his mum’s milk and was able to be sent home.

Since the operation, Johnston writes,

Max has been under the close watch of medics at St George’s with regular appointments and talks of fitting him with a colostomy bag to manage the fact he was unable to tell when he needed the toilet due to his shortened bowel.

But in another miraculous turn, the youngster suddenly realised his own toilet cues in January this year and was able to go into ‘big boy pants’ overnight.  

Lauren says that “Everybody calls him my ‘miracle baby’ but at the same time we worked bloody hard to get him through this and he fought so hard as well.” She told Johnston, “I look back at pictures and realise how far we have come from being absolutely terrified of being a single mum and worrying that I was going to leave hospital without a baby at all to being as happy as we are now. When we were told that he was going to be discharged, it was the perfect piece of the puzzle towards our happy ending.”

Johnston says that “Lauren is now speaking out to raise awareness for other parents in similar situations and to offer hope.” Lauren said

“It’s always going to be something that he lives with, we still always need to be careful but he is not a sick baby anymore.”

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Categories: Infants