Schoolgirl's stomach pain is one-in-14-million killer condition

A nine-year-old girl was saved by hero doctors after her stomach pain turned out to be a one-in-14-million killer blood clot.

Niamh Williams was described as ‘perfectly healthy’ before she started to complain of stomach aches.

Her mum Sarah said the youngster was ‘critically ill within minutes.’

Sarah rushed Niamh to hospital, in Wrexham, North Wales, right before her heart stopped beating while undergoing tests.

Doctors then discovered that a one-in-14-million chance clot had formed, stopping the blood supply to her entire bowel.

She underwent emergency surgery at the Wrexham Maelor hospital after the clot caused toxins to be released into her system. This then weakened her heart and Niamh was moved for specialist treatment at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool.

‘Instinct told me something was seriously wrong,’ Sarah explained. ‘I thank my lucky stars we managed to get her to hospital in time.

‘Everyone in Alder Hey Hospital was asking me who the surgeon from Wrexham Maelor was, because they saved her life.’

Niamh now requires liquid nutrition through a tube that goes directly into her veins called Total Parenteral Nutrition.

She has now met up with the medical team who treated her to thank them in person – two years after suffering the clot.

‘Niamh is the only child in Flintshire receiving the TPN treatment,’ Sarah added. ‘And we were told that they guesstimate there’s only about a one-in-14-million chance of something like this happening, it’s so rare there’s nothing they could really compare it too.

‘She will come off TPN eventually, but it will take years of hard work.’

The nine-year-old has since made excellent progress and the family are forever grateful to the departments that helped saved her life.

Sarah added: ‘It’s hard to put into words just how poorly Niamh was when she arrived at hospital but thanks to the knowledge, dedication and professionalism of the Emergency Department team at Wrexham Maelor, Niamh’s life was saved.

‘As a family we would like to give special thanks to consultant in charge Dr Liz Richards, surgeon Mr Battersby and surgical teams, Mel the consultant who initially attended to Niamh and Carrie the nurse for not once leaving Niamh’s side.’

Dr Richards said the medical team knew they had to act fast.

‘This condition is extremely rare and how she has recovered has been almost miraculous, she is a brave and strong little girl,’ he said.

‘There were also lots of staff from several different teams across the hospital including Theatres and Emergency who helped care for Niamh.’

Meanwhile, Mr Battersby noted that Niamh is making good progress in her journey back to full health.

‘Niamh was incredibly unwell when she came into hospital, and the outcome could easily have been very different,’ he noted. ‘The progress Niamh has made is fantastic, and I am delighted for Niamh and her family to see her looking so well, and so happy.’

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