Parents of a premature baby are thanking doctors who clutched at the last straw to save their child; using Viagra to resurrect his lungs.
Little Lewis Longfellow was born last August when his mother was just into 24 weeks of pregnancy. His premature birth coupled with low birth weight was bad enough, but this was worsened when his lungs collapsed the day after birth.
Doctors discovered that a duct in the heart had not closed properly. He was operated upon at 3 weeks to rectify this.
Yet, another problem soon surfaced. Various areas of the tiny tot's lungs were not receiving enough oxygen to pump to different parts of the body, in spite of the massive amounts of oxygen administered artificially.
As his condition began to worsen, his parents began preparations for their boy's funeral.
It was then that doctors having exhausted other modes of treatment tried out Viagra.
Viagra, known worldwide for its anti-impotence function, is chemically, Sildenafil. The drug works by expanding blood vessels.
When the doctor administered a dose of Viagra after informing the parents that it was just an experiment and it should not be expected to do much, they witnessed a miracle, practically.
The drug served to open up tiny blood vessels in the baby's lungs, enabling it to accept the oxygen that was been given, and pump it to other parts of the body. The child despite all odds had survived.
As the baby of Jade and Mark is back home, the parents cannot stop thanking the doctors with all their hearts, and Viagra.
Lewis is one of the first babies to be given the pill by medics at the Royal Victoria Infirmary's special care baby unit in Newcastle.
Sildenafil, also known under the trade name of Viagra, is being used for very premature babies but only after doctors have tried all other treatment options and consulted the baby's family.
This is a relatively new treatment and Lewis still needs 24-hour oxygen yet his mother is very grateful as she says, "He is doing really well".