Boy With Meningitis Who Had Life Support Machine Turned Off Made Miraculous Recovery And Is Now 'Full Of Life'

02/11/2015 10:33 | Updated 02 November 2015

A boy who contracted meningitis at three weeks old and had his life support machine switched off made a miracle recovery and fight back to health.

Harrison Ellmer, now three, became desperately ill and was put on a life support machine in January 2013.

His parents Samantha Baker, 22, and Adam Ellmer, 26, had to turn the life support machine off, as scans showed he was "brain dead".

Harrison was then taken to a hospice to he could pass away "peacefully" but miraculously started breathing on his own.

Baker said: "When Harrison's life support was switched off we never imagined he would continue to breathe. We were all so heartbroken when we were told he wasn't going to survive, it felt like a real miracle."

harrison ellmer

Harrison's life support machine was turned off when he was three weeks old

Baker said "Despite surviving, doctors still warned us that he would never be able to walk or talk. We were terrified but so thankful he had survived that we just took each day as it came.

"Harrison's brain scan results showed that he was completely brain dead but we always hoped he'd defy the odds.

"We still can't believe it ourselves when we see him walking and talking."

Harrison's mum said he is now hitting all his milestones just like other children his age.

harrison ellmer

Harrison, now three, made a 'miracle' recovery

Harrison fell ill shortly after he was born in December 2012.

He became unresponsive during the night and Baker immediately dialled NHS Direct.

An ambulance was called and he was taken straight to Rotherham Hospital.

Baker added: "I was told straight away that it was very serious and after a lumbar puncture, I was told he had contracted meningitis.

"He was taken by ambulance to Sheffield Hospital and they didn't even know if he'd make the journey, it was touch and go.

"Harrison continued to deteriorate despite having antibiotics and after five days of trying to save him, doctors confirmed he was going to die.

"I chose to take him to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice so he could pass away peacefully with us at his side.

"The care we received there was fantastic and with Harrison still relying on a ventilator to breathe, we prepared to say our final goodbyes as we switched it all off."

Baker added: "Looking at him now and watching him running around, riding his bike and reading books, it's amazing.

"He has suffered some deafness in one ear and has mild cerebral palsy on his right side but you would never know by looking at him.

"Harrison is full of life and we can't believe how lucky we are to have him."


Baker is now pregnant with her second child and Harrison is already excited about becoming a big brother.

She added: "We're having a girl this time and I'm due in January. So it'll be a late Christmas present for us all, we really can't wait."

The couple have been fundraising for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice ever since their ordeal in 2013 to say thank you for the care they received.

Julie Devine, Director of Care at Bluebell Hospice, said: "It's wonderful that Harrison defied all odds and such a pleasure to see his recovery.

"At Bluebell Wood, we look after children with a vast range of complex medical needs and we offer support for the whole family.

"We are so grateful to Harrison's family for their fundraising, which helps us to continue providing support for more than 200 children and families a year."

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