NHS doctors create new treatment to help baby they thought would never leave hospital

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Archie Hambly's parents were told their son would remain in hospital due to under-developed lungs and breathing difficulties (CATERS)

A baby who was expected to spend his life on a ventilator in hospital has been given hope after NHS medics created a brand new breathing therapy treatment.

Archie Hambly was born 13 weeks premature, weighing 1lb (454g) and with severely under-developed lungs, in March.

But after contracting pneumonia, little Archie was placed on a ventilator full-time at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital.

Archie's parents began raising £10,000 to send their son to America for experimental treatment - but doctors at Bristol Children's Hospital created their own version(CATERS)

Doctors told mum Shannon Turner and partner Jamie that their son would never leave hospital.

The couple, from Plymouth, Devon, began a fundraising campaign to reach £10,000 to send their son to America for treatment.

They also created a petition calling for the NHS to allow Archie to leave hospital and travel to the Nationwide, Ohio.

But three weeks ago, determined NHS doctors at Bristol Children's Hospital begun their own version of the treatment, dubbed ‘Archie Protocol’.

Read more from Yahoo News UK:
Fearless OAP, 81, fights off cash machine mugger
Justin Trudeau apologises for ‘brownface’ picture’
EU gives Boris Johnson 12 days to come up with new deal

The treatment is designed to enable Archie's lungs to grow at their own rate by making frequent changes to a ventilator's setting of high pressure and low rates.

The technology coaxes the lungs to grow and eventually catch up to him.

Archie has recently opened his eyes for the first time since treatment began - giving the family hope they may one day be able to take him home.

Ms Turner, 22, said: "We are just so thrilled that Archie has opened his beautiful eyes - we are making steps forward for the first time instead of backwards.

Archie was born with chronic lung disease just 27 weeks into mum Shannon's pregnancy - and after he contracted pneumonia, he was placed on a ventilator full time (CATERS)

"We were in the NICU for months, and everybody else's babies were going home, but Archie just kept getting sicker and sicker after he contracted the pneumonia.

"In June, his doctors told us that he would not survive, and that we'd never take him home from the hospital.

"We were beyond devastated but determined not to give up. We are his parents and it is our job to fight for him.

"We did so much research into the treatment being done in the USA and were determined to fly Archie to America to give him any chance we could.

Doctors told mum Shannon Turner and partner Jamie that their son would never leave hospital (CATERS)

"But then doctors at Bristol Children's Hospital asked me to show them my research, and they came up with a treatment similar to the one I'd heard about in America, but tailored just for Archie.

"The moment that he opened his eyes was just incredible. It has given us all hope that he can beat this."

A University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “We continue to provide the best possible care and have developed an individualised plan for Archie with the involvement of his family.”