Mum praises 'amazing' NHS staff who saved 'precious' tot's life

Efan Potts

Efan Potts was rushed to The Royal London Hospital after suffering a brain injury. - Credit: Courtesy of the Potts family

The mother of a baby whose life was saved after a severe brain injury has praised the NHS as "the best of this country".

Efan Potts was rushed to The Royal London Hospital after he was injured playing at home in Wapping at the peak of the second wave of Covid-19 in January.

Mum Kirstin Ross-MacLeod said: "There are no words that can ever do justice to the gratitude we will always feel for what the amazing NHS team has done for our precious baby boy.

"Our little family owes you everything and will always be in debt to the awesome skill and support and care you gave us in the worst moment of our lives.

"We are so proud of our NHS. You are the very best of this country."


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Before arriving at The Royal London, Efan - who was just eight-months-old at the time - was flagged "code black", meaning medics should expect a patient with a severe head injury.

Dr Philip O’Halloran, the senior neurotrauma fellow on call that night, said: "When Efan arrived, it became immediately obvious he was in very serious trouble.

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"He was unconscious, his breathing pattern had changed and his right pupil had become dilated. Essentially, Efan was on borrowed time."

Paediatric and neurosurgical trauma specialists worked rapidly to stabilise the tot, rushing him through the CT scanner and on to the operating theatre.

Within 40 minutes of Efan's arrival, Dr O’Halloran and the team had removed a blood clot pressing on his brain.

"It was an incredible team effort," Dr O’Halloran said. "The moment paramedics recognised the severity of Efan’s injury, they rushed him to the nearest major trauma centre able to provide neurosurgical care.

"From the receiving team of doctors and nurses in the emergency department, to the paediatric intensive care doctors,  the anaesthetists, theatre nurses and radiographers – everyone played a vital role in saving this baby’s life."

efan at the royal london hospital

L-R: Dr Philip O’Halloran, senior neurotrauma fellow, Efan, mum Kirstin Ross-MacLeod and Chris Uff, consultant neurosurgeon and clinical lead for neurosurgery. - Credit: Barts Health NHS Trust

After surgery, Efan was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, waking up the next day and receiving six days of aftercare.

The life-saving surgery meant Efan, who turned one on Tuesday, May 4, could celebrate with a visit to The Royal London staff who cared for him.

"We are absolutely delighted for Efan and his family, that he has made such a spectacular recovery," Dr O'Halloran said.

Efan plays at the hospital

Efan's mum thanked the NHS staff who saved her son's life. - Credit: Barts Health NHS Trust

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