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Green vomit led to baby girl’s rare diagnosis and life-saving emergency surgery

A newborn baby who began vomiting green sick underwent life-saving surgery after her bowels had become twisted and blocked.

Mary-Anne Kirby’s parents were told there were “no guarantees she would survive” after she was rushed into surgery at just a week old.

Mum Colette Kirby had noticed something wasn’t quite right just days after giving birth to her fifth child on September 13 last year – and is keen to raise awareness about her daughter’s “unique” condition.

The 34-year-old barmaid, from Beeston Rylands, Nottinghamshire, said she and her partner Pete Kirby, 40, sat outside the hospital and prayed while their baby was in surgery, reports NottinghamshireLive.

Mary-Anne weighed 6lb and 6oz following a “really non-eventful” birth and “everything seemed fine” as she was taken home, said Colette.

“Then she just wasn’t really waking up for her food, she barely ate at all. She did not poo after like day two.

“I just had this gut feeling just something was not right,” the mum-of-five explained.

Colette said she was initially told by midwives her daughter might have been a “slow starter”.

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Mary-Anne began vomiting a green substance days after coming from hospital

However, she took her to Queen’s Medical Centre A&E when she began vomiting a green substance.

Following multiple dye scans, a consultant said Mary-Anne had suspected maltrotation of the bowels, explained Colette.

The rare condition sees the bowels become twisted, which can mean they are cut off from the blood supply.

Colette said despite the ongoing pandemic, hospital staff went above and beyond to look after her daughter.

“She might not be here if they had not been so quick,” she continued.

Nottingham Children's Hospital
Mary-Anne was treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital

“They suspected that there was a blockage that could burst and cause poisoning.”

The operation lasted five-and-a-half hours, with an internal blockage having been caused by a build-up of faeces.

“It was a full blockage, the bowels were not what they expected to see,” said Colette.

Surgeons performed a Ladd’s procedure, which involves putting the bowels back in place.

The tot’s appendix was also removed, as it was on the wrong side, and the colon was reconstructed.

“It was the strangest time, we were sat outside on a bench – we were surrounded by white feathers,” explained Colette.

“We’re not religious people, we sat there praying.”

Mary-Anne, now seven months, was later diagnosed with partial malrotation of the bowels, otherwise referred to as non-rotation.

Figures show that the condition affects one in 2,500 to 3,000 births in the UK, her mum said.

Further tests to see if she has Hirschsprung Disease and Cystic Fibrosis have both come back negative.

Slowly Colette was able to feed her baby again and she began to put on weight, and is now free from medication.

“She has literally flown since Christmas, piled on weight and hit the milestones like she should do,” the delighted mum said.

Colette and friend Victoria Whitmill plan to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September to support Nottingham Children’s Hospital.

“They saved my child’s life,” said Colette. “The more, the better – I would like to raise my minimum of £5,000.”

Money can be donated to a fundraising page in support of the cause by clicking here.

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