A DOCTOR who saved the life of a baby girl by making a kidney dialysis machine in his garage has won an award.
Paediatrician Dr Malcolm Coulthard, from Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), saved Millie Sophie Kelly’s life when she was born with gastroschisis, a condition in which the bowels develop outside of the body.
Doctors from the RVI fought to save her, in a delicate operation to return her organs to her abdomen.
But complications following the procedure meant baby Millie suffered kidney failure and her mother, Rebecca Kelly, 21, was told there was little hope.
A dialysis machine was unavailable on the NHS for children under a certain weight, and any hope for Millie, born weighing 6lb 2oz, was ruled out.
But in the garage of his home, Dr Coulthard made a tiny dialysis machine and hooked Millie up to it.
For seven days it kept her alive, until she showed signs of improvement. Now she is healthy and fighting fit.
Dr Coulthard won the Special Award for Sustained Endeavour, at the North-East’s Bright Ideas and Health Awards, run by the NHS Innovations team at technology consultants RTC North, also attended by Millie, now twoand- a-half.
Dr Coulthard said: “To have Millie here is great – she is a very special patient and I love seeing her with her mum and nana every time they come to clinic.”
Ms Kelly, a student who lives in the Linthorpe area of Middlesbrough, said: “We owe her life to him. If I won the lottery I would give it all to him, we can’t thank him enough.”