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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 July, 2004, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Seven-hour fight to save toddler
Joe Towey
Joe Towey was on a life-support machine for two weeks
A toddler was revived more than seven hours after he was found face down in his family's pond.

Doctors believe the fight to save two-year-old Joe Towey, from Birmingham, was the longest resuscitation ever carried out in the UK.

Eight doctors and nurses led by Dr Nick Makwana revived the boy at Heartlands Hospital in the city.

His father Michael said: "I don't know if he survived because of his strength or because he is lucky."

Even when we managed to find his heartbeat, it was still a very critical situation
Dr Nick Makwana
Using cardiac massage equipment, the medical team worked for more than five hours to make his heart beat again and another two stabilising him.

The youngster was then taken to North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent where he stayed on a life-support machine for two weeks.

Joe had been found in the pond by his father and mother, Jennifer Nock, at his home in the Hall Green area of Birmingham on Boxing Day morning last year.

'Best moment'

Dr Makwana said the boy survived because the cold water, coupled with the chilly winter weather and his small size, caused his temperature to plummet suddenly.

He said this sent him effectively into a deep freeze which had prevented significant brain injury.

The doctor added: "Even when we managed to find his heartbeat, it was still a very critical situation.

"We had to be very guarded. We were very conscious that he could be brain damaged."

Mr Towey said it was the "best moment" of his life when he knew Joe had pulled through.

He said: "I don't know if he survived because of his strength or because he is lucky."

But Joe's father said his two large ponds will not be filled in despite the near tragedy.

He added: "I don't see that it benefits anybody to be so scared of everything. Accidents happen."




SEE ALSO:
Swimming teachers save boy's life
06 Jul 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset


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