A baby is lucky to be alive – after he was born with his intestines and bladder outside of his body.
Doctors were forced to wrap Jack Hearne in cling film to stop the chance of infection, in a desperate attempt to save his life.
A rare birth defect, called gastroschisis, meant he was born with two of his vital organs on the outside after his abdomen failed to form properly.
And a team of doctors wrapped baby Jack in kitchen cling film seconds after he was delivered naturally to keep his organs close to his body.
But four months on, he’s finally home with his parents, Orla and Brian, and older sister Ella, in Waterford, Ireland.
Doctors were forced to wrap Jack Hearne in cling film seconds after he was delivered to stop the chance of infection, in a desperate attempt to save his life
A rare birth defect, called gastroschisis, meant Jack was born with two of his vital organs on the outside after his abdomen failed to form properly. Four months on, he’s finally home with his parents, Orla (right) and Brian, and older sister Ella, in Waterford, Ireland
His mother, Mrs Hearne, 38, said: ‘We were told at our 20-week scan that Jack had gastroschisis and immediately I broke down in tears, I was terrified and didn’t know what to expect.
‘As soon as I heard him cry I was so relieved, a team of doctors quickly wrapped his stomach in cling film and he was taken straight to intensive care before surgery.
‘Thankfully surgeons were able to insert all of his organs back inside his body, and even made his scar into a little belly button which is adorable.
‘I was terrified that I would never see him again but thankfully the surgery was really successful.
‘Jack has made an amazing recovery and we are all so thankful to finally have him home with us.
‘He is now four months old and is doing really well, he is the happiest child I have ever seen and nothing bothers him, we are all so grateful to have him home.’
Mrs Hearne was induced at 37 weeks and amazingly doctors were able to deliver baby Jack naturally on March 30 of this year.
A team of paediatricians quickly wrapped Jack’s organs in cling film before letting his mother have a quick hold of him – he was then rushed to intensive care.
Hours later, Jack had his first operation where surgeons were able to put two thirds of his organs back into his stomach.
They rest of his organs were hung in a bag above his stomach in the hope that they would fall back into place.
And a second operation the following morning allowed them to do just that.
His parents were told they would be in hospital for three months, but after just four weeks they were able to take Jack home.
It is not known exactly what causes gastroschisis but it is becoming increasingly more common, particularly in younger mothers under the age of 20, Jack pictured while at hospital
A team of paediatricians quickly wrapped Jack’s organs in cling film before letting his mother have a quick hold. He was then taken to intensive care, pictured with his mother and father Brian
img id=”i-b014532c4e93f4e9″ class=”blkBorder img-” src=”http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/07/29/11/36B16D0900000578-3714314-image-a-29_1469787242320.jpg” alt=”A second operation the following morning allowed the remaining organs to fall back into place” width=”306″ height=”294″ />
Surgeons were able to put most of his organs back into his stomach just hours later. A second operation the following morning allowed the remaining organs to fall back into place
Mrs Hearne said: ‘We were told our baby had gastroschisis and I instantly broke down crying, we had never heard of anything like that before and didn’t know if our baby was going to survive’
Mrs Hearne’s family were delighted when she fell pregnant – after suffering a miscarriage shortly before.
But she spent her entire pregnancy worrying about whether baby Jack would be healthy.
It wasn’t until the 20-week scan that doctors detected an abnormality and the soon-to-be parents were told their baby had gastroschisis.
Mrs Hearne broke down in tears when she was told as she didn’t know if her baby would survive – but she praised her consultant who reassured them both that Jack would be fine.
She said: ‘I told Brian he didn’t have to come with me to the scan as it was just routine, it was the last thing we were expecting but I was so glad he was there.
‘The sonographer noticed something unusual and pointed to a dark ball floating above the baby’s stomach on the screen.
‘The next morning we spoke to our consultant who confirmed our baby’s small and large intestines, as well as its bladder, were growing outside of its stomach and he warned that there could be serious side effects.’
It is not known exactly what causes gastroschisis but it is becoming increasingly more common, particularly in younger mothers under the age of 20.
The condition develops when the foetus is around six weeks old when the abdomen wall closes leaving organs on the outside of the body.
Gastroschisis is a type of abdominal wall defect that occurs when a child’s intestines do not develop fully while in the womb.
In the early stages of pregnancy, the intestine develops within the umbilical cord. Weeks later it moves inside the foetus’ abdomen.
But where an unborn child has gastroschisis, the abdominal wall does not completely form. It results in the intestines growing outside the body.
Around one in 3,000 babies are born with the condition in the UK, each year.
As soon as the child is born the condition requires immediate treatment.
Within a few hours of birth, the baby is usually transferred to a specialist children’s hospital.
The first step is for doctor’s to wrap the exposed intestines in a type of ‘cling film’ to reduce the amount of fluid and body heat lost.
Once a baby is stable, they will have an operation to put the intestines back inside the abdomen, and close up the abdominal wall.
It can take several operations to achieve this, placing the intestines back a bit at a time, until they can all be contained.
For some children, their intestines will recover and start to work properly, allowing them to begin to eat normally.
For other children, the intestines can experience too much damage during the process, meaning further treatment is required.