A week old infant has beaten the odds to survive after doctors used Superglue to stick down an artery on his brain.
Baby Alfie Dale was born with a rare condition called Vein of Galen malformation and the procedure had been performed to prevent a fatal blood rush, which could have stopped his heart.
AdvertisementSurgeons warned had Alfie's parents that the intricate operation, which involved threading a catheter the width of a human hair from his groin, through his heart to his brain, was his only hope.
But they also explained that they had never carried it out on such a tiny tot before. The only other four babies to undergo the op had all been 36 weeks old - and tragically none survived.
"It really is a miracle that Alfie is here. We didn't hold out much hope but he's such a little fighter. He defied all the odds," the Sun quoted his mom Alyssa, 30, as saying of Alfie, who has an unaffected twin named Charlie.
Only 20 children develop Vein of Galen malformation in Britain each year. It causes life-threatening swelling on the brain.
Doctors at University College Hospital in London decided to give Alyssa a caesarean at 33 weeks after a scan picked up problems with the twins' development.
Alfie, who weighed 4lb 2oz, was then rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital and surgeons decided to go ahead with the op.
They slid the catheter through to his brain and then sent tiny globules of medical superglue along it to seal off the artery.
Five months later he needed a second op, but is now nine months old and home in Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, with Alyssa, shop manager husband Jon, 32, and brother Charlie.
"The twins are doing wonderfully and Alfie shouldn't need more treatment as the op was a success," social worker Alyssa said.
"It seems hard to believe that superglue saved our son," she added.