Parents of baby girl whose heart stopped for FOUR MINUTES say she was 'watched over' by her great-grandfather who died in same A&E cubicle where she was saved
Eloise Wilmshurst was found by her father in her cot suffering from a fit and fighting for breathShe stunned doctors by coming back to life and was breathing on her own within 24 hours
He family believe great-grandfather Bryan Spencer decided they 'weren't going to have any more tragedy'



11:28 GMT, 5 September 2012

Parents of a baby girl whose heart stopped for four minutes believe she came back to life thanks to her great-grandfather who died just five days before from a heart attack in the same cubicle.

Eloise Wilmshurst was discovered by father Michael in her cot at the family home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, suffering a fit which left her fighting for breath.

Michael and mother Charlotte dialled 999 and within minutes they were on board an ambulance as paramedics fought to save Eloise’s life.

Eloise in hospital

Great grandad Bryan Spencer with Eloise

Family: Eloise seriously ill in hospital, and right with great-grandfather Bryan Spencer who died from a heart attack in the same cubicle just five days before Eloise was rushed to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital

The family arrived at Oxford’s John
Radcliffe Hospital just as her heart stopped and paramedic Kate Ellis
leapt from the vehicle to run inside with the lifeless child.

In an agonising coincidence as doctors fought to save their daughter’s life, Mr and Mrs Wilmshurst
realised she was being treated in the same cubicle Michael’s
grandfather Bryan Spencer had suffered a fatal heart attack in just five
days before.

But after four minutes Mrs Wilmshurst, 29, and Mr Wilmshurst, 31, were stunned as their little girl came back to life.

less than 24 hours Eloise was awake and breathing on her own, shocking
doctors who said she wouldn’t be able to do so for at least two days.

Pictured Charlotte, Eloise and Michael

Michael and Charlotte with baby Eloise whose heart stopped for four
minutes but she astounded doctors and came back to life. Now her parents think her great-grandfather was watching over her

Now, two weeks later, Eloise is back
home with her sister Abigail, five, and Mrs Wilmshurst said they
believed 100 per cent that Bryan was watching over her.

also said Eloise was the first baby to have been successfully
resuscitated after being brought in by ambulance suffering a cardiac
arrest in five years.

Wilmshurst said: 'Bryan was definitely watching over Eloise. We have had
a lot of heartache over the years, I think Bryan decided we weren’t
going to have any more tragedy.

'As Eloise was being resuscitated Michael was saying ‘not that cubicle’ as we knew it was where Bryan had suffered his heart attack but the team were obviously still working on her.

Eloise the day before she was ill

Abigail with Eloise

Worry: Mrs Wilmshurst first realised
something was wrong as she and her husband heard a noise come from Eloise’s room (she's pictured the day before she fell ill, left, and right with big sister Abigail when she was born)

'That four minutes were a nightmare, I
was so upset my hands had frozen like claws. When she came back they
put her straight onto life support but early Sunday morning the
consultant would only tell us she was ‘a very, very poorly girl’.

was supposed to be sedated and on a breathing tube until Monday at
least. I think her recovery surprised everyone, by Sunday afternoon they
were still trying to keep her sedated and on breathing apparatus but
she was having none of it, she was waking up and pulling out the tube.

'Finally about 5pm the consultant said
if she wants to wake she can wake up and over the next week she just
got stronger and stronger.'

Wilmshurst said she first realised something was wrong as she and her
husband sat in the family garden with friends and heard a noise come
from Eloise’s room at around 10pm on Saturday, August 18.

said she discovered later Eloise had suffered from febrile convulsions –
a condition often triggered by and underlying infection causing the
baby’s body temperature to spike suddenly.

The condition is quite common in young children but Eloise’s reaction was exceptional.

Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital

Experts: Eloise was taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital where it took four rounds of CPR to revive her

She said: 'Babies cannot sweat like an
adult can and usually these convulsions pass without any ill effects,
it just happened that Eloise wasn’t so lucky.

heard a noise from Eloise’s room, usually she knocks a toy in her cot
and it makes a sound when it hits the side, then she calls out because
she wants some milk.

this time I thought ‘that’s odd she isn’t making a sound’, Michael went
upstairs to check on her and then shouted down ‘call 999’.


– Around one in 50 children will have a febrile convulsion by the time they reach the age of five

– Children under five cannot regulate
their body temperature so the fits are a way of expending the heat
through the muscle and the skin

– A febrile convulsion is caused
by a rapid rise in a child’s temperature usually at the start of a
bacterial or viral illness. A child’s temperature may have reached 38.5C
or 39C but it is thought that the rate of rise, rather than the final
temperature, is more important.

– During a febrile convulsion, a child
loses consciousness and becomes either stiff or floppy. They may stop
breathing briefly and their eyes can roll back. A child may be irritable
or sleepy after coming round.

– It’s important to keep calm as most
convulsions pass without ill effect, however if the child is not
breathing normally after a convulsion, or if it lasts five minutes or
more, you need to get emergency help by dialling 999.

was grey, she was dribbling and fighting for breath, the ambulance was
there in under four minutes and we jumped in the back with Eloise.'

Engineer Mr Wilmshurst said when he first saw his daughter he knew something was wrong.

He said: 'She was struggling to breath, her eyes were glazed over and she was grey, it’s not a sight any parent wants to see.

think Bryan was watching over her in hospital but we have to say a
massive thank you to all the doctors and paramedics who helped save her

'I had said goodbye to Bryan on Monday and on Saturday Eloise was being treated in the same bed he had a massive heart attack in, it was a roller coaster of emotions.

'There was a moment when the machines stopped beeping when we realised they had got her back and they all did a fantastic job, not just the A&E but in intensive care afterwards.'

Mrs Wilmshurst said when the ambulance arrived at A&E unusually there were four paediatric consultants on duty when normally there would be just one.

As the ambulance pulled up Eloise’s heart stopped and Mrs Wilmshurst said paramedic and mother-of-two Kate Ellis ran inside carrying her to medics.

Ms Ellis, from the South Central Ambulance Service, said it took four rounds of CPR to bring her back.

She said: 'The minute we got to the house and saw Charlotte jumping up and down we knew something was wrong, when I ran into the house and picked Eloise up in my arms and knew she was very poorly and things were going down hill

'In the ambulance on the way her jaw locked meaning it was hard to keep her airway open which was already partially blocked with saliva.

'She went into cardiac arrest as we arrived and as I ran into the hospital I was numb and in shock, we didn’t know if she would survive but we were greeted by no less than four consultants, a couple of specialist registrars and nurses and they went to work immediately.

'Febrile convulsions are relatively common but in 15 years in the job I have never seen a reaction like Eloise’s.'