DONCASTER: My baby stopped breathing for 8 minutes and lived

Claire Woolley and her son Tom, who was saved by doctors at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
Claire Woolley and her son Tom, who was saved by doctors at Doncaster Royal Infirmary
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A MUM has told how doctors in Doncaster saved her baby’s life after he was born unable to breathe for a staggering eight minutes.

Little Tom Woolley was born by emergency Caesarean section at Doncaster Royal Infirmary after mum Claire’s blood pressure started to soar eight weeks before he was due to be born.

Tom started to worry doctors when his heartbeat began to slow in the womb - and was then unable to breathe for the first eight minutes of his life.

Claire, aged 38, of Finningley, said: “Tom was born after being taken in for an emergency Caesarean because his heart beat was slowing, and my blood pressure was getting higher and they could not control it.

“I don’t know what exactly happened because I was under anaesthetic.

“They called it traumatic birth syndrome. They gave him oxygen and it was eight minutes before someone said he was fine.

“They tested his brain because they were concerned what had happened may have caused problems.

“The next problem was when he tried milk. He went blue and stopped breathing. He had to be fed glucose through a tube in this nose.”

His breathing failed again, five days after he had been born, while he was still in the special care baby unit.

Staff at the hospital’s special care baby unit woke her up at 3am and told her Tom had stopped breathing - but the doctors’ emergency response brought him back again

Tom was kept in the special care baby unit for three weeks, even after his mum had been allowed to leave the hospital.

“It was frightening and I wouldn’t put my worst enemy through it, but he was in the right place.

“We were concerned that we were going to lose him many a time. When they work me up and told me he had stopped breathing it frightened the life out of me.

“Just when you thought you were getting somewhere there was a setback.

“Tom was in for three weeks - I was only in for a week. I have another child, Emily, and she needed me too. I visited twice a day.”

Tom, who has just turned three, pulled through and is still having regular check-ups to make sure he is developing normally after what he went through.

Claire said: “He is just a typical three-year-old now. I just cannot thank the doctors enough. I couldn’t have asked for more than what they did.”

The grateful mum and colleagues from Robin Hood Airport have now raised around £1,600.

The group, made up of nine people, walked 45 miles along a coastal path from Whitby Abbey to Filey Brigg, with sponsors pledging cash. Anyone willing to sponsor them can still do so.

Claire added: “The staff are nothing short of miracle workers in my eyes as they saved his life and for that reason I’d walk a hundred miles if need be.

“Unfortunately not all babies are born fit and well and need a helping hand which this unit provides but they do need help with funds for vital equipment which can help them and the babies.”

Log on to to donate to the appeal.