Baby Was Frozen to Save His Life


There’s nothing worse than when your baby is sick and you feel powerless to help him, so you can only imagine how awful it was when a mom in the U.K. found out her baby had a rare heart condition and may not survive.

Little Edward Ives was born with supra ventricular tachycardia or SVT, which was causing his tiny heart to beat at over 300 beats per minute. He only had a five percent chance of survival, but physicians at University College London Hospital decided to try a breakthrough treatment to save his life.

Doctors froze Edward for four whole days, bringing his core body temperature down to 33.3 degrees Celsius.

Yes, they froze him to slow his metabolism and prevent damage to his organs. They wrapped him in a blanket filled with cold gel, and his poor mother had to watch him lying there, freezing, wearing nothing but a diaper.

Claire Ives says, “All I wanted to do was scoop him up and give him a warm cuddle. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was saving his life.”

She also noted that her precious baby was “cold to touch,” and “looked like he was dead.”

If that isn’t heartbreaking enough, she had to deal with the baby being shocked by a defibrillator five times when his heart rate got too low.

OMG. I can’t even imagine what this poor mother was going through while her baby received that treatment. A couple weeks ago, my own son had a very high fever from the flu, and I put him in a lukewarm bath to try and bring his temperature down. I sat there and watched him shivering with his little lip quivering and it just about broke my heart — so thinking about what Clare Ives went through makes me want to burst into tears.

Thankfully, baby Edward’s story has a happy ending. After being “frozen” for four days, his heart started beating normally, and his parents were able to take him home a month later. And now their journey with a thriving, happy baby begins, which is something I’m sure they’ll never take for granted.

Have you ever heard of a “freezing” treatment like this?

Original version of this article is written by Mary Fischer for Cafe Mom.