Medics in 140-mile dash to East Lancashire to bring baby Alina back from the brink (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Medics in 140-mile dash to East Lancashire to bring baby Alina back from the brink
A MUM has praised the NHS after doctors dashed 140 miles to give life-saving treatment to her dying new-born baby.
Little Alina Ahmed, from Blackburn, was suffering from severe breathing problems after being born by Caesarean section at Burnley General Hospital.
Staff decided the only hope was to contact doctors at a specialist unit in the Midlands.
Mum Naseem Ahmed, 25, said: “I really thought I was going to lose her.”
Doctors agreed to make the trip to Burnley because there were no beds available at the ECMO centre in Leicester.
They brought with them a machine which could stand in for Alina’s heart and lungs - which were failing to pump oxygenated blood around her body. Before the team arrived the Burnley staff were fearful of Alina’s chances.
Mum Naseem Ahmed, 25, of Higher Audley Street, Blackburn, said: “I was in a lot of pain and I’d lost hope. A doctor said she was very poorly and I didn’t think she’d pull through. I really thought I was going to lose her.”
ECMO therapy, short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, would normally only be available for babies at three hospitals in England.
After the Leicester team attached Alina to the machine in Burnley they took her to Newcastle - which also has a specialist centre.
Alina is the first baby in East Lancashire to receive mobile ECMO treatment, and a senior medic said the case showed the NHS working ‘at its best’.
After her birth on January 15 and the journey north, Alina spent nine days in Newcastle before being transferred back to Burnley General, where she spent the next six weeks.
Now her jubilant family have been told she is well enough to go home.
Naseem, whose husband Muhammad (corr) Jahanzaib is currently in Pakistan, said: “When they said I could come and take her home it was just the most amazing feeling ever.
“That’s when I felt I’m going to be a proper mum now.
“I’m just so grateful to the doctors, No matter how I say it there’s no words I can use to thank them.
“If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I’d have my daughter today.
“Before this I had negative thoughts about the NHS, that they don’t care about the patients. But after what they did for my daughter it’s completely changed.
“She was dying and they did everything they could to keep her alive.”
Aside from having high blood pressure, which should ease, Alina has made a speedy recovery and Naseem praised all the staff, in Burnley, Leicester and Newcastle who were involved in her case.
Dr Meera Lama, neonatal clinical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Alina was very sick and on the night in question we thought we were going to lose her.
“The Leicester team, despite having no beds, were amazing in their support. Their quick response and stabilisation has resulted in Alina coming through a very critical period and she has now been discharged and continuing to recover at home. This was the NHS at its best.”