Mum tells of son’s fight for life

Lucy and Ben Doughty with Charlie after the transplant
Lucy and Ben Doughty with Charlie after the transplant
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THE devoted mum of a boy who nearly died when his liver failed has spoken of the horrifying ordeal.

Charlie Doughty was born in August but spent his first few months in hospital suffering from jaundice.

The condition caused little Charlie’s skin to go yellow, his stomach to swell and his blood sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels.

He became so sick his bones started to break as he was not producing enough calcium to develop properly.

Mum Lucy, of Blackpool Old Road, described the first few months of Charlie’s life as “horrific”.

She told The Gazette: “We didn’t know anything was wrong as I had a great pregnancy and all the scans had come back OK.

“When Charlie was born he seemed to have trouble breathing and was making a grunting noise so he was taken to the special care unit.

“I was so scared because this was my first child and I knew this wasn’t how things were meant to go.

“It was the longest wait of my life, we kept asking what was happening but no-one could really tell us anything.

“All we knew was after the first few hours his jaundice levels should have dropped but Charlie’s kept rising.”

After a week in Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Charlie, now eight-months-old, was transferred to a specialist ward in Birmingham.

Lucy, 27 and Charlie’s dad, Ben, 28, then had to wait an agonising four weeks for the first diagnosis.

She said: “It was just one scan and investigation after another, it was so nerve-racking.

“First of all we were told he had a very rare condition to do with bile salt which is produced by the liver.

“But when he took the medicine for it his stomach started to swell up and he was sent for a biopsy of the liver.

“Something went wrong with the biopsy and he ended up in intensive care – it was such a shock to see him on the ward, we were really panicking.

“Following a further urine sample doctors said they had ruled out cancer and he would need a liver transplant.”

Five weeks later Charlie underwent a successful transplant and was released from hospital just before Christmas.

He has now passed the critical three month stage during which time the patient may reject the donated organ.

And Lucy said she couldn’t have handled the ordeal if it had not been for medical staff and those at Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham.

She added: “I just want to say a big thank you to all the staff who looked after him, especially at Ronald McDonald House.

“They provided us with somewhere to stay, it was a brilliant facility which without I don’t think we would have coped.

“You get to speak to other parents going through the same thing which helps in so many ways.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is an independent charity which provides free “home away from home” accommodation in hospitals.

Dr Peter Curtis, consultant paediatrician and clinical director for child health at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted Charlie has made such good progress and is doing so well and we wish him all the best for the future.

“His condition was particularly serious when he was born as it was so rare.”