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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 13:40 GMT
Heart attack baby back from dead
Woody Lander [picture: Ross Parry]
Brain scans have shown that Woody has suffered no lasting damage
A baby boy who was pronounced dead after a heart attack came back to life 30 minutes later as he lay in his grieving parents' arms.

Medical staff at Leeds General Infirmary had tried in vain to resuscitate two-week-old Woody Lander.

He was handed over to parents Jon and Karen Lander so they could say goodbye.

After half an hour the couple heard the boy cough and doctors started his heart. Now 14 months old, Woody has been given a clean bill of health.

Mr Lander, 34, a civil servant from Farsley, Leeds, had been travelling with his 32-year-old wife to his parents' house in Norfolk in December 2005 when they noticed their child turn white and cold.

Woody was rushed to the emergency ward at Leeds General Infirmary where he had a heart attack. It was later discovered he had a blocked aorta.

The doctors said they had never heard of anyone coming round after 30 minutes of apparent lifelessness
Jon Lander, Woody's father

Mr Lander said: "We were in bits. After what seemed like an eternity the doctor came out and said 'I think we have done all we can'.

"They reached the cut-off point for resuscitation and said 'that's it' and handed Woody to us to say goodbye.

"They started taking tubes out and that's when he started twitching.

"They managed to get his heart going and he came back to life in front of us."

Consultant paediatric cardiologist Dr Mike Blackburn, who was one of the team treating the child, said: "Woody's case is a real exception.

"After attempting to resuscitate him for so long, we would normally expect the worst.

"But we were able to successfully resuscitate Woody after contact with his mother.

"Truly miraculously, he was fit enough for surgery and it is amazing to see how well he is today."

Full recovery

Brain scans have now shown no lasting damage and the Landers have been told their son can expect to lead a full and active life.

Mr Lander said: "We still don't know how it happened. We just know he's a little miracle.

"The doctors said they had never heard of anyone coming round after 30 minutes of apparent lifelessness, let alone a young baby.

"But the people at the hospital were unbelievable and they made the miracle happen."

Mr Lander is hoping to thank Leeds General Hospital by running in the Leeds 10k Run for All, set up by fund-raiser and terminal cancer sufferer Jane Tomlinson, later this year.

He is raising cash for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund at the hospital.


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