‘Trust your instincts’ says Stevenage mum after freezing procedure saves son

Edward Ives in intensive care

Edward Ives in intensive care - Credit: Archant

THE parent of a baby who doctors saved by using a pioneering freezing procedure is urging other mothers to trust their instincts.

Edward has now fully recovered and celebrates his first birthday next month. Picture: Bright Eyes Ph

Edward has now fully recovered and celebrates his first birthday next month. Picture: Bright Eyes Photography - www.brighteyes-photography.co.uk - Credit: Archant

Claire Ives was told her unborn son Edward had a five per cent chance of survival due to a condition called supraventricular tachycardia, which causes the heart to race dangerously fast.

The freezing procedure which saw Edward's body temperature drop from 37C to 33.4C in a bid to reduce

The freezing procedure which saw Edward's body temperature drop from 37C to 33.4C in a bid to reduce his heart rate - Credit: Archant

Mrs Ives, who lives with her husband Phillip in York Road, Stevenage, realised something was wrong when at 35 weeks pregnant her son wasn’t kicking as strongly as before, and underwent scans at Lister Hospital and then University College London Hospital (UCLH).

Following the second scan, doctors said the baby would have to be delivered immediately by an emergency caesarean section.

Mrs Ives, who also has a four-year-old daughter Joscelyn and a two-year-old son Hayden, said: “It was just awful. I kept thinking how can I tell my daughter her brother wasn’t coming home?


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“After Edward was born I was just really grateful that he was still alive and myself and my husband just tried to keep positive.”

After giving birth in August last year, Edward’s heart was pumping at more than 300 beats per minute – almost double the normal rate of 160.

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Doctors at UCLH used a treatment for the first time involving a mattress containing cold gel which dropped his body temperature from 37C to 33.4C – in a bid to slow his heart rate.

After two days Edward’s temperature was slowly raised, but so did the beating of his heart, so he underwent two further days of treatment.

“Edward seemed to respond to the treatment the second time and when they slowly warmed him back up his heart went into a regular rhythm,” said Mrs Ives.

“He came off his heart medication in April and now he is a perfectly healthy little boy. You would never know what he had been through, it’s amazing.”

Mrs Ives, 30, said: “I think Edward wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t kept telling the midwives that I felt like something was wrong. There is an awareness campaign called Count the Kicks, which I feel very strongly about.

“Women aren’t empowered enough to trust their instincts and their bodies when pregnant and stillbirths happen far too frequently. The campaign on www.countthekicks.org.uk empowers women with knowledge and encourages them to have the confidence to get checked out thoroughly.”

Mr and Mrs Ives have been raising funds for UCLH to show their gratitude to the doctors and nurses who cared for their son.

After holding a cake sale at Marriotts School in Stevenage last month, the couple will both be running the Down Tow Up Flow Half Marathon along the Thames towpath on July 28 as they attempt to raise £2,000 for the cause.

To sponsor them visit www.justgiving.com/Run4UCLH

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