Maisy Vignes confounded doctors when she was born six weeks premature in Dec 2009 with no blood in her system. Now she’s confounded the world even more by beating all the odds and thriving as a healthy and happy four-year-old girl.
When Maisy’s mother, Emma, noticed something off during the 34th week of her pregnancy, she had a reason to worry. Her.ie explains Emma felt swollen and noted the baby had completely stopped moving in her stomach. She was delivered early by an emergency C-section and rushed to intensive care.
That’s also when the doctors realized the baby had no blood.
“I didn’t have the chance to see her before she was taken away,” Emma says of the birth. “Nurses kept rushing in to keep me updated, but everyone was very glum and serious-looking” she adds, saying “I learned that Maisy had no blood – just a thin, plasma substance in her veins.”
Indeed the baby had a haemoglobin level of zero, something the doctors feared would caused permanent brain damage to the baby, or worse.
“None of the consultants had ever heard of something like it happening before” Emma recalls. “There were previous cases of children being born with tiny amounts of blood, but Maisy had a haemoglobin level of a flat zero. There were cases recorded of people surviving with a haemoglobin level of four, but for any human to survive after having no blood at all was unheard of.”
Fortunately, after weeks of blood transfusions and lots of hope, Maisy’s parents were finally able to bring her home on Christmas day.
As for what may have caused it, she says “The best theory the doctors have come up with is that membranes in the womb rubbed together, causing a rupture, which led to Maisy’s blood leaving her body and going into mine.”
Today Maisy’s unique case has become the subject of lectures and journal articles and the four-year-old herself has just started her schooling and is impressing all her teachers.