Olivia Norton, a two-and- a half year old toddler born in Essex, is one of the perfect examples to prove that sometimes ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. Olivia was a baby who was ‘born without any blood’, and yet managed to survive. Doesn’t it sound astonishing? Yes, that’s indeed the truth. Her survival is a story which has found a place in the medical books. At the time of her birth, it seemed like Olivia would survive for not more than two years, but few blood transfusion turned her complexion from that of a ‘ghost white’ baby to a normal child.
The reason for Olivia’s unusual white appearance was the lack of Hemoglobin in her body. Hemoglobin is a component in blood which carries oxygen and gives it a red texture. This medical condition is termed as ‘Fetomaternal Hemorrhage’. If medical sciences are anything to go by, this problem occurs in one out of every 5000 newborn babies.
Louise Bearman, Olivia’s mother, and her husband sensed something fishy when the child hadn’t kicked in three days. The couple rushed to the medics and requested the doctors to start the surgery even before Louise’s due date. Much to Bearman’s disappointment, the baby didn’t look like any normal new born. Moreover many complications during the delivery had left the Bearman couple panic-stricken. The lack of hemoglobin had also lowered the heartbeat of the child, which also triggered difficulties in breathing. According to the doctors, Olivia’s hemoglobin level was just 3, while 18 was considered to be the normal count. Sharon Pilgrim, a neonatal nurse felt that in her 20 year tenure, she had never heard of any patient with such a low level of hemoglobin.
However, the doctors who attended Olivia turned out to be angels, and helped the child survive. Olivia went through two blood transfusions in a matter of 2 weeks, which changed her skin tone to a light pink color, and stabilized her heartbeat rate. Olivia is now as healthy as most other babies of her age. Louise Bearman also feels that other than the medical surgery, the mother also had a great role in help the child survive. Though she knew about Olivia’s condition much before her birth, her motherly instincts convinced her that the baby would survive. Even during the process of blood transfusion, Bearman says that her presence next to child Olivia, helped the baby survive. Bearman’s advice to all mothers with babies surviving from severe cases of Anemia is that they should have faith and believe their maternal instincts.