12/10/2015 12:25 BST | Updated 12/10/2015 12:59 BST

Baby Born With Organs Outside Body Saved By Doctors Who Wrapped Her In Cling Film

Parents of a baby who was born with her bowels outside her body have spoken of their joy when their daughter first smiled following life-saving surgery.

Despite undergoing multiple operations and spending her first six days with her intestines suspended in a bag above her, five-month-old Layla Henderson has learnt to smile.

Layla's mother, Zoe Sweeney, 23, says this has helped her and Layla's father James Henderson, 26, get through the ordeal.

"She’s been through a hell of a lot and it felt like it was never going to end," Sweeney told The Daily Record.

"It was a heart-warming moment and the cutest smile I’ve ever seen. She was coping, so we felt we should do her proud and be able to cope with it, too.”

jade henderson

A routine scan when Sweeney was 12 weeks pregnant showed Layla was suffering from gastroschisis - a rare condition in which a baby's abdomen does not develop fully while in the womb, leading to the child's organs protruding through a hole beside the belly button.

Sweeney was induced in Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, at 37 weeks and Layla was born, weighing 5lb 10oz, on April 15.

Writing on a fundraising page set up for her daughter Sweeney explained that Layla's bowels were put in a special bag called a silo, which was suspended above her so that gravity would "slowly help them back to where they were meant to be".



When Layla was six days old she had an operation to push the last few inches of bowel inside her tummy and the hole was closed.

Her treatment also involved being wrapped in cling film and her umbilical cord was saved when she was born so doctors could create a "designer belly button" rather than leave her with a large scar.

Layla was briefly allowed home to Inverness-shire, Scotland, but she was whisked back into hospital when further tests showed she had a rare heart infection called endocarditis and a blood clot has formed over the infection area.

Our hearts are broken and our world has been turned upside down again.Yesterday morning we were told that the '...

Posted by Layla's RMHC Fundraising Page on Saturday, 29 August 2015


For two weeks Sweeney and Henderson sat by Layla's hospital bedside in Glasgow as she was treated with medication through a drip.

Layla was finally allowed home on September 14 and Sweeney said: “It’s great being able to have a cuddle in the morning without having to walk through the hospital to see her.

"Hopefully this time we won’t be going back."

The family are now raising funds for Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow, which provided them with accommodation so they could be close to Layla while she was in hospital and where Sweeney said they made "lifelong friends". To make a donation visit Layla Jade Henderson's Just Giving page.

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