MY LIFESAVER! 21-years on, blood clot baby Jessica meets the man who saved her life.
Byline: HELEN HUNT ECHO Reporter email@example.com helen_echo @
A LIVERPOOL woman who needed brain surgery when she was just four days old celebrated her 21st birthday by going back to meet the surgeon who saved her life.
Jessica Bird was just a newborn when her parents were told she had a blood clot on her brain the size of a tangerine.
She was given a 50/50 chance of surviving the surgery she needed and was even baptised on the operating table in case she didn't make it.
Now a young woman with a career ahead of her as an estate agent, Jessica has no memory of the treatment.
But her family have always shared the stories about what happened with her - and Jessica has kept a photo at her bedside, of herself as a baby with Mr Paul May - the neurosurgeon who carried out the delicate operation. At the time she was one of the youngest patients Mr May had ever seen.
Mum Jane Bird said: "She was my first baby, weighing in at 6lb 6oz and seemed perfect.
"But then she starting having fits and was rushed to Alder Hey for a scan. After finding this huge blood clot on the brain, she was taken to the neuro unit in the old Walton Hospital for the operation.
"We were told she had a 50-50 chance of survival and she was baptised on the operating table. All the staff called her baby Bird because we couldn't decide on a name for her."
Jessica was reunited with consultant neurosurgeon Mr May, along with her grateful mum and nan, Jane and Linda Bird, at The Walton Centre.
She said: "Listening to the stories about what happened makes me feel very grateful, and now meeting Mr May and talking about the operation, makes me feel a bit emotional."
Mr May added: "It is rare to carry out brain surgery on a newborn or days-old baby, and I am absolutely delighted to meet Jessica and see that she has grown into a beautiful, intelligent and successful young woman. As a neurosurgeon I am in a very privileged position to be able to help people, and to meet someone like Jessica, after I had forgotten I had helped to save her life in 1994, is what makes surgery so rewarding."
Nan Linda added: "It was a very scary time; she looked so perfect and we were looking forward to having her home until they found the clot. She was my first grandchild and it was horrible, so unexpected."
It was Linda who called Mr May's secretary to ask for a reunion.
Jessica lives with her family in Norris Green and is a trainee estate agent, working for C&D Properties, studying for an NVQ Level 4 qualification in business admin.
LOOKIN GOOD: Jessica with Mr May at 18 months old | |
FAMILY AFFAIR: Jessica with mum Jane, nan Linda and Mr May | |
| LOOK AT HER NOW: Jessica Bird | |at the Walton Centre with Mr Paul May, the neurosurgeon who carried out the operation 21 years ago