17/06/2010 11:19 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Baby 'Frozen' To Survive Heart Operation

Freezing a 16-week-old baby sounds cruel - but it saved 16-week-old Finley Burton's life. He was 'frozen' for four days after an emergency heart operation at Freeman Hospital, New castle.

Finley had an abnormally fast heart rate, so doctors cut his body temperature to just 33.4˚C (92.1˚F) in order to stabilise it, and therefore prevent fatal complications.

He was also temporarily paralysed in order to stop any movements which might effect the external pacemaker.

It took four days for his heart rate to return to normal - an agonising wait for his parents Donna Link-Emery and Aaron Burton.

'It was very frightening. We thought we were going to lose him,' said Donna, from Easington, County Durham. The procedure followed an operation to block a hole in his heart and correct an artery. Whilst he recovered from the operation, doctors discovered his heart had developed an abnormal rhythm which could be fatal.

They placed him in, as his mother Donna Link-Emery describes it, "a lttle freeze bag that allowed air to flow around his body."

Happily, Finley was allowed home after 12 days and is now doing well.

Source: Metro