Newcastle paediatrician wins prestigious award
A PAEDIATRICIAN who saved the life of a baby girl by making a kidney dialysis machine in his garage has won a prestigious award.
Dr Malcolm Coulthard, from Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, saved little Millie Sophie Kelly’s life when she was born with gastroschisis, a condition in which the bowels develop outside of the body.
Doctors from the RVI fought to save her and in a delicate operation returned the organs to her abdomen.
But complications following the procedure meant Millie, now two-and-a-half, suffered kidney failure and her mother, Rebecca Kelly, 21, was told there was little hope for her survival.
A dialysis machine – which takes blood from the body, filters it and then returns it – was unavailable on the NHS for children under a certain weight, and any hope for Millie, born weighing 6lb 2oz, was ruled out.
But Dr Coulthard was able to save the youngster. In the garage of his home, he made a tiny dialysis machine and later hooked the baby up to it. For seven days the machine battled to keep Millie going, until she showed signs of improvement. Now the tot is healthy and fighting fit.
Dr Coulthard scooped the Special Award for Sustained Endeavour, at the region’s Bright Ideas and Health Awards, run by the NHS Innovations team at RTC North, with Millie there to share the consultant’s accolade.