A newborn baby whose heart rate had risen to 320 beats per minute was dunked into a bucket of ice-cold water by doctors in an attempt to save her life.
Holly Hutchinson, who was 12 days old at the time, moved hospitals after the drastic treatment failed to shock her heart into a normal rhythm.
She was administered powerful drugs at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and was stabilised about 10 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
As fireworks went off outside, her parents Jenny and Ian were given the good news that Holly was recovering.
The pair are now are going to take part in the Great North Run to raise funds for the Sick Children’s Trust, which helped them by giving them a place to stay at the hospital, and the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).
Holly was born on 19 December and fell ill on Boxing Day, diagnosed with viral meningitis. She was discharged from hospital 48 hours later.
But on New Year’s Eve, her mother, who is a paediatric nurse, spotted her baby’s condition had deteriorated and took her to the Sunderland Royal Hospital.
While at the hospital, her heart rate climbed to 320 beats per minute in an abnormal rhythm caused by an infection in her heart.
Doctors attempted to shock her heart into the correct rhythm and resorted to dunking her head into a bucket of icy water for five seconds.
After several attempts to shock her heart using other methods failed, she was rushed to the Freeman Hospital where the process was repeated and she was intubated.
Her father said: “Right in front of our eyes, we could see the blood retracting from Holly’s limbs to try and protect her core, making her go grey.
“It was absolutely horrendous to see our newborn become so ill, so quickly. Watching her being submerged in the water and be prodded with needles like a pin cushion is something no parent wants to see.
“It was so hard knowing there was nothing we could do.”
Mr Hutchinson added that if they had arrived at the hospital just 20 minutes later, Holly might not have survived.
“Holly is a little legend, and she started to fight back after they shocked her heart and various other procedures,” her father said.
Now eight months old, Holly went on to make an incredible recovery – spending just 10 days there before being allowed to go home in Gateshead.
Mr Hutchinson expressed his gratitude for the help the family received from the Sick Children’s Trust, as it meant they could stay nearby while Holly, who has an older sister called Emily, recovered.
He said training for the Great North Run has been tough, adding: “But if Holly can hold on with a heartbeat of 320, a half marathon should be pretty simple right?”