Jake’s drama makes it to TV

Jake and mum Louise McDonald, with Jamie Steele from Embrace.
Jake and mum Louise McDonald, with Jamie Steele from Embrace.
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A baby from South Yorkshire who needed a life-saving operation to help him breathe is starring in a prime-time television documentary tonight.

Little Jake Steele required urgent surgery after being born with blocked nasal passages, meaning he could not feed and breathe at the same time.

The day-old tot was taken to Sheffield’s Jessop wing from Barnsley Hospital, and then to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, by Embrace - a team of medics who carry sick youngsters to specialist units using ambulances, planes or helicopters.

Jake, now eight months old and from Monk Bretton in Barnsley, is featured in the second episode of Children’s Emergency Rescue, on BBC Two at 8pm.

His mum, Louise McDonald, aged 34, said: “Jake needed an operation as his nasal passages hadn’t developed in the usual way. They were blocked by bone and membrane. He was breathing through his mouth, but because of the blockage it was impossible for him to breathe and feed.”

Jake had an operation at the children’s hospital to treat his condition - called bilateral choanal atresia - and open up his airways.

Louise and her partner Christopher Steele agreed to be filmed during the ambulance transfers and Jake’s operation as well as discussing his recovery.

The mum added: “Jake has needed a number of operations but he’s doing well. It was a very stressful time, but we’re very pleased to be part of the documentary, and we’ll be able to show it to Jake when he’s older.”