Just hours after Bailey was born, her mother Rebecca noticed she was moving strangely. Despite initially being given the all clear, a brain scan was performed by the paediatric neurology team shortly after Bailey left hospital.
The results showed that she had suffered a stroke in utero. The doctors believe that a piece of placenta had travelled through her umbilical cord and into her brain – causing widespread damage to the left side of her brain. The strange movements noticed by Bailey’s mother were in fact seizures. With up to 25% of Baileys brain affected, she was unable to move the whole of her right arm and part of her right leg.
Bailey’s future seemed uncertain – with doctors predicting that she may never walk or talk without intensive therapy.
However her parents had banked Baileys cord blood at birth, and when they realised that it could be used to treat her brain injury they knew this was something they had to do for Bailey. Just like kiwi children Maia and Phoenix, it wasnt long before she was on her way to Duke University to have her cord blood reinfused by Dr Joanne Kurtzberg.
The simple 15 minute procedure is thought to promote healing of the injured brain tissue – reducing inflammation and causing new blood vessels and nerves cells to grow.
Since her reinfusions Bailey hasn’t looked back – at 14 months old she is reaching all the milestones. She can use both sides of her body, and is learning to walk and talk just like other children her age.
Dr Charles Law, the medical director at United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham calls her recovery ‘remarkable’. He saw Bailey both before and after she was treated with her own cord blood, and he says that, since the reinfusions, he wouldnt even notice anything was wrong with Bailey unless he was looking for it. Just like so many other children treated with their own cord blood, her clinical signs do not match up with the brain injury she suffered, nor what doctors predicted for her future – which is now looking incredibly bright thanks to cord blood!
You can read the full interview with Fox News here.