14/08/2014 12:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Baby 'Frozen' After Being Deprived Of Oxygen At Birth 'Defrosted' For Christmas

A family have told how their baby son had to be DEFROSTED before he could be cuddled.

Freddy Cooke did not breathe for 20 minutes after he was born lifeless at home, just 30 minutes after his mum went into labour. His family were warned he could have suffered brain damage.

"I was five days overdue when the contractions started but as I was a first-time mum I was expecting a very long labour," his mum Nicky told the Mail.

Midwives arrived at Nicky's home just in time to deliver baby Freddy's head, but his shoulder got stuck and his umbilical cord snapped, starving him of oxygen.

By the time he was finally fully born he had stopped breathing and was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital by ambulance.

Medics to

Baby 'frozen' after being deprived of oxygen at birth 'defrosted' for Christmas

ok the decision to put him into a state of induced hypothermia in the hope of cooling him down enough to allow his brain to recover.

Freddy was 'cooled' to 33C for 12 hours at a time, and wrapped in a blanket filled with freezing water. 72 hours later, he was 'reheated' to allow his mum and dad, Nicky and Dan, to hold him for the first time.

Nicky, 30, said that first cuddle on Christmas Eve, 2011, made Freddy a true Christmas miracle.

"When they started warming him up again we still didn't know if it had worked," she said. "When they finally handed me a warm bundle to hold for the first time it felt like a true Christmas miracle that he had survived.

"The doctors could not believe it. He had been deprived of oxygen for 20 minutes. It was unheard of for him to be responding so well."

Freddy made such a rapid recovery that he was allowed home the day after Christmas and spent Boxing Day with his relieved family. His mum said the pioneering treatment went against every maternal instinct - but that it saved his life.

"To see your baby cold and shivering goes against all your mothering instincts," she said."You just want to wrap them up and keep them warm, but it saved his life. Words cannot express how grateful we are.

"He is a miracle - and the midwives who refused to give up that day are true angels."

Freddy is now a robust and healthy toddler and his mum and dad are fund raising via their campaign, Cool To Save A Life, to help fund cooling equipment for other babies.

You can find out more by visiting Freddy's Awareness Page on Facebook.