A Caddington couple who said goodbye to their dying four-year-old daughter have been told by doctors that she is due to leave intensive care after making a miraculous recovery.
Within 12 hours of falling ill in the night Ava Mear suffered three heart attacks and failed to show signs of life after more than 45 minutes of CPR. Hospital staff suggested parents Clive and Mary-Jane should speak to her for the last time.
But minutes later surgeons managed to restore a pulse and performed a ‘risky’ procedure to restore life to Ava’s heart and lungs.
She then went into cardiac arrest for a fourth time and was close to losing her left foot through amputation but is now closer to a full recovery after undergoing a tracheotomy on Monday.
Clive Mear said: “We had a feeling of desperate relief when the surgeon rushed out and told us they had got her back. It was touch and go and by then we had actually said goodbye to her.
“That was the hardest bit. From where she was Ava has made an amazing recovery.”
Following Ava’s latest procedure it is hoped that the youngster will be well enough for transfer from Great Ormond Street to Luton & Dunstable Hospital on Monday. The Caddington Village School pupil is now only being nasal-fed, while her left foot has now restored to its natural colour.
Her four heart attacks came after she suffered the most serious form of strep A infection, developed from a bout of tonsillitis. After developing a severe purple rash Ava went into toxic shock and was immediately transferred from the L&D to GOSH on January 27.
Mother Mary-Jane has been at her side ever since, spending just one night at home in Caddington.
Much of the four-year-old’s recovery has been credited to the use of an ECMO machine- which acts as an artificial heart and lung outside of the body.
Clive said: “Without the ECMO machine, Ava would now be flying with the angels and we would be left as a broken couple explaining to our little boy that his sister has gone forever. Before it was used the surgeon started to tell us that it was a risky option but I interrupted and told him to do whatever he could for Ava.”
Clive is now attempting to raise £80,000 to provide GOSH with another ECMO machine- thanks to more than 200 donations a tenth of this total has been reached.
He said: “Ava’s care at GOSH was incredible and the doctors did everything they could. They performed adult CPR on her for 45 minutes when they usually only go for 20 minutes. It is important to get another ECMO machine as there are only 20 across the UK.”
To donate to the fund log on to www.justgiving.com/avas-ecmo-challenge.