Ice Baby with MotherThe cold snap may be causing misery for most but this happy little ice baby is at home in the snow.

Just eight months after Finley Burton was FROZEN to save his life, the tiny tot is back in the cold and looking forward to his first Christmas.

Parents Donna Link-Emery, 28 and Aaron Burton, 32, feared they would lose Finley when he suffered complications following an intricate heart operation when he was 10 weeks old.

But amazingly the little boy pulled through after he was put on an external pacemaker and frozen to stop any shivering disturbing the device.

Doctors made the unusual decision to lower his body temperature to just 33.4C as his heart went into junctional ectopic tachycardia - a severe type of heart rhythm – after the operation to repair a large hole in his heart.

Now 10-month-old Finley is rolling, crawling and loving every second in the icy weather.

“It was very frightening at the time, we really thought we were going to lose him,” said Donna, from Easington, County Durham.

“It’s a miracle that he survived and we can now enjoy our first family Christmas.

“He has had no problems since the freezing process and is doing really well.

“He absolutely loves the snow and has been outside laughing and giggling - maybe it makes him feel at home.”

Donna and partner Aaron had taken Finley to the doctor when he was 10 weeks old because he was not putting on much weight and had breathing difficulties. He was referred to the University Hospital of North Durham where the consultant thought he could hear a heart murmur and sent him for an echo cardiogram, an ECG and an x-ray. They discovered he had a large hole at the top of his heart and a small one at the bottom.

The next day Finley was transferred to Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, where they also found he had an aortic coarctation - a narrowing of the hearts main artery. He was given emergency surgery the following day. Finley had two operations to block the larger hole and correct the artery, but when he came round, there were complications. Ice Baby enjoying the snow

His heart went into junctional ectopic tachycardia (JET), a very rapid heart rhythm which can be fatal.

Doctors lowered Finley’s temperature to try to stabilise his heart rate then fitted an external pacemaker and had to paralyse him so he would not disturb the machine. Gradually after four days his temperature was brought back to normal and his heart started to beat properly again. Medics were astounded he survived and are thrilled that he is now doing so well.

“He has had no problems since and is now on the 50th percentile for his weight which is amazing,” added Donna.

“He is rolling around and pulling himself up and loves standing.

“The doctors are really pleased with the progress he has made.”

Finley will have to go back to the hospital for a check-up after his first birthday then doctors will see him annually. Donna and Aaron are now looking forward to spoiling Finley on Christmas Day.

“We’ve got him a trike and we’re going to my parents for lunch so I know everyone will make a big fuss of him,” she added.


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