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Author Topic: Doctor saves baby's life by making homemade kidney dialysis machine  (Read 1180 times)
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Monkey All Star Jr.
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« on: August 05, 2008, 12:31:10 PM »

Doctor saves baby's life by making homemade kidney dialysis machine

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:43 PM on 04th August 2008
A baby girl's life was saved with a doctor's handmade kidney dialysis machine that he had created in his garage.

When Millie Sophie Kelly was born, she suffered from gastroschisis, a condition  in which the bowels develop outside of the body.

Doctors from Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) fought to save the baby's life and in a delicate operation returned the organs to her abdomen.

However, Millie suffered kidney failure and her mother was told there was little hope for her survival.

A dialysis machine which takes blood from the body, filters it and then returns it, was unavailable on the NHS for children under a certain weight,  and any hope for the little girl, born weighing 6lb 2oz, was ruled out.

That was until Dr Malcolm Coulthard, a paediatrician at the hospital made a tiny dialysis machine and later hooked the baby up to it.

For seven days the machine battled to save the youngster's life, until she finally showed signs of improvement. Now, two years later, Millie is healthy and fighting fit.

Rebecca, a student who lives in Middlesbrough, said she owed her baby's life to the paediatrician.

She said: 'Words cannot describe how grateful my family are to Dr Coulthard. Not only is he a great consultant but now also a great friend and inspiration to Millie, my family and I.

'Afterwards, the doctors and nurses didn't know if she would make a full recovery, but she's just turned two and she's a normal, happy baby now.

'I delivered in the RVI because my scans showed there was this problem. When they did the operation it was touch and go, we just had to pray.'

Dr Coulthard's machine allows haemodialysis - the cleaning of blood through an  artificial kidney of tiny babies with renal failure and other rare metabolic diseases.

Rebecca said: 'It looked handmade in the garage, but I thought if it will save my baby's life then I have to try it.

'When she was ill, I knew she wouldn't  give in. I was devastated when they said she wouldn't make it, but she's a  fighter and I knew she would pull through.

He said: 'This machine is only being used on the tiniest, earliest babies where  there is nothing else that can be done.

'But if we had a machine that we could use much more freely, then we would be able to deal with many more babies and have a much greater chance of saving  lives.'


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