Baby brought back to life by older sister blowing a raspberry on her belly in magical moment Baby brought back to life by older sister blowing a raspberry on her belly in magical moment
An unresponsive baby was brought back to life by her older sister blowing a raspberry on her belly in what the family have described... Baby brought back to life by older sister blowing a raspberry on her belly in magical moment

An unresponsive baby was brought back to life by her older sister blowing a raspberry on her belly in what the family have described as a “magical moment”.

Poppy Smith, now two, suffered hypoxic brain damage on her second birthday and doctors warned her parents that her chances of survival were slim.

But as her older sibling Macey, now 12, played with her, the family were amazed to hear their little girl laughing.

Poppy has defied expectations and now, just nine weeks later, she is crawling again and can even talk more than before.

And her devoted parents, designer Stephen, 34, and learning support assistant Amy, 31, from Barrow In Furness, Cumbria, say it’s all down to her sister.

Poppy with her sister Macey, pictured here on holiday in Lanzarote
Poppy with her sister Macey, pictured here on holiday in Lanzarote (Photo: PA Real Life)

Stephen, who is now fundraising with his wife to pay for intense physio to improve Poppy’s mobility said: “Macey blew a raspberry on her belly and suddenly Poppy started laughing. We couldn’t believe it.

“Now we firmly believe Poppy will walk and talk again, as she’s been a fighter since the moment she was born.”

On December 17, 2014, Poppy was born at 29 weeks, weighing just 2lb.

After spending three months on a neo natal ward, she was allowed home, weighing 4lb 6oz.

But her parents noticed that she often dribbled her food and she was diagnosed with Moebius syndrome – which means the muscles in her face don’t work properly.

Although doctors warned that Poppy’s development could be delayed and she may never walk or talk normally, she proved them wrong, hitting most of her milestones.

Poppy just a couple of days old
Poppy just a couple of days old (Photo: PA Real Life)
Amy holding her daughter Poppy, (centre) Poppy's sister Macey, and brother Alfie, and their dad Stephen
Amy holding her daughter Poppy, (centre) Poppy’s sister Macey, and brother Alfie, and their dad Stephen (Photo: PA Real Life)

Stephen said: “They said that she might not walk or talk, but she started walking at 15 months, which is quite average for a premature baby. It was amazing to see her doing all those things

“We managed to get her off her feeding tube around her first birthday and throughout 2016, she was just getting better every day.”
She had a few hospital admissions, for respiratory problems, but doctors were really pleased with Poppy’s progress, as she approached her second birthday in December 2016.

Then, just days before she turned two, when her Amy went to wake her up, she couldn’t get her to come round.

Stephen said: “We could feel her heartbeat, but she was unresponsive. We knew there was something seriously wrong. She was breathing but she was sort of gasping for air.”

She was blue lighted to Barrow In Furness General Hospital , where they tried to stabilise her, before transferring her for more specialised treatment at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

The next day, Poppy improved and so much she was taken off the ventilator.

But two days later, on her second birthday, her parents noticed something wasn’t right.

Poppy was blue-lighted to hospital in December 2016, and doctors gave her a slim chance of survival
Poppy was blue-lighted to hospital in December 2016, and doctors gave her a slim chance of survival(Photo: PA Real Life)

“Her eyes were starting to roll to the back of her head,” said Stephen. “A chest x-ray showed that her lungs were full of fluid and she had another respiratory arrest.

“That night she started to develop twitches and seizures. She was deteriorating fast.”

Two days later, an MRI scan revealed some devastating results.

Stephen added: “When she came back from the scan, doctors took us into a side room and said she had severe hypoxic brain damage.

“I asked if she was going to walk or talk again, but they said they didn’t even know if she was going to survive. When it started to sink in, it was heartbreaking.

“They told us we had to wait and see, but it wasn’t looking good. I just wanted them to tell me that she was going to be ok.”

Medics were able to get Poppy breathing on her own again, but she was still unresponsive.

“She couldn’t feel anything and wasn’t responding to a torch being shone in her eyes,” Stephen said. “We held her, but she was just staring right through us. I’ve never felt pain like that in my life. The heartache was unreal.”

The family, including Poppy’s sisters Elisha, now 14, Macey and brother Alfie, 11, spent Christmas together in the hospital, thinking it could be Poppy’s last.

Stephen explained: “We went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and lit candles for her. I asked the priest if he could come and give her a blessing.”

Poppy, here around 12 months old
Poppy, here around 12 months old (Photo: PA Real Life)

On Christmas day , Poppy was moved to a High Dependency Unit and the whole family visited to wish her a happy Christmas.

Stephen explained: “That was the amazing moment when she laughed, as Macey blew a raspberry on her belly.

“It was astonishing. We found out afterwards that it wasn’t uncommon for people in this state to show emotion, but to us it seemed like she was responding.

“Then there were little twitches on her arms and legs. Doctors said it could be spinal reflexes, but I felt like it was so much more.”

Doctors were baffled by Poppy’s remarkable recovery and day by day, she slowly improved – learning to speak and crawl all over again.

Stephen said: “We couldn’t believe it. It’s been just eight weeks. It’s incredible. She’s progressed so much.

“The doctors are baffled. They say that she shouldn’t be doing what she is doing. They are so glad she is, but they didn’t think she would. She’s proving them all wrong.”

Now, the family are fundraising around £6,000 to pay for two weeks of intense physio at the Cosmosuit Rehabilitation Unit in Italy, as they believe they must work quickly to try to help Poppy return to normal.

“We want to get more physio for her earlier rather than later, because we think the sooner we do, the more of her mobility we can save.” said Stephen.

“Our hospital has been great, but it is small and they don’t have the facilities to give her that sort of treatment. She only has one physio session a week.

Henry Okafor

  • Marchele

    2017-02-22 #1 Author

    Wow what an amazing story I’m happy she’s well 🙌🏾 God works in mysterious ways 🙏🏾

    Reply

  • Alkena Robinson

    2017-02-22 #2 Author

    Doctors are taught to do the possible but God bless us with the impossible. He has the last say so.

    Reply

  • Chrissy Hernandez

    2017-02-22 #3 Author

    God is good all the time

    Reply

  • Kaylee Morgan

    2017-02-22 #4 Author

    Thats absolutely amazing !! 😃

    Reply

  • Deidreana Jasper

    2017-02-22 #5 Author

    God is so good…. by His stripes she is healed😍😍😍😍😍😘😘😘😘

    Reply

  • Janelle

    2017-02-22 #6 Author

    That’s amazing 😩👏🏽🙌🏽

    Reply

  • Shania Wilson

    2017-02-22 #7 Author

    Wow this really touched my heart 💜

    Reply

    • Ashaunti

      2017-02-22 #8 Author

      God bless ❤️ , what an amazing story I love it . Everyone has a purpose to live ..

      Reply

      • Chasity

        2017-02-23 #9 Author

        Wow There Is A God !! God Truly Have The Healing Touch ! This Story Amazes Me 💙

        Reply

  • Fatimah

    2017-02-22 #10 Author

    This was A amazing story god please bless this baby….

    Thank god for oldest brothers & sisters

    Reply

  • Ariel Cross

    2017-02-22 #11 Author

    She’s blessed!😇😇😇😇

    Reply

  • Leeda Buford

    2017-02-22 #13 Author

    This brings back so many memories when my little baby was in the NICU because she stopped breathing, it’s like babies feed off the love of their siblings

    Reply

  • Jazmine santana

    2017-02-22 #14 Author

    Wow amazing story god bless this child and her family always ❤️

    Reply

  • Shanteal Hicks

    2017-02-22 #15 Author

    God is so good!!!! This is amazing

    Reply

  • Nykia Barnhill

    2017-02-22 #16 Author

    She’s Beyond blessed and lucky. I believe that the raspberry that big sister gave her was an big part of her recovery. Truly an beautiful family.

    Reply

  • Alexis

    2017-02-22 #17 Author

    Awww this is so beautiful 😍

    Reply

  • Shamia

    2017-02-22 #18 Author

    God is amazing I bet those two will have an unbreakable bond. 🙏🏾👯

    Reply

  • Jasminda Renae

    2017-02-22 #19 Author

    God was on her side this is so beautiful 😇

    Reply

  • Jasminda Renae

    2017-02-22 #20 Author

    God was on her side this is so beautiful

    Reply

  • Kayla Boyd

    2017-02-22 #21 Author

    God is amazing 🙏🏽

    Reply

  • Brittany

    2017-02-22 #22 Author

    That’s Amazingly Beautiful ❤️

    Reply

  • TeLisa Smith

    2017-02-22 #23 Author

    I tell ya won’t God Do it!!!!!! This story just warms my heart!! He is good all the time! #Priceless

    Reply

  • Gabrielle

    2017-02-22 #24 Author

    God works in mysterious ways!!

    Reply

  • Gabrielle Murray

    2017-02-22 #25 Author

    God works in mysterious ways.

    Reply

  • Sasha

    2017-02-22 #26 Author

    This is an amazing story. Thank you God for watching and protecting the little girl ❤.. I have a preemie myself so I know how it feels to go through hard times but a little prayer won’t hurt nobody ❤

    Reply

  • Ashly smith

    2017-02-22 #27 Author

    God works miracles amen😭😭

    Reply

  • Alexis

    2017-02-22 #28 Author

    Aww how amazing

    Reply

  • Esther

    2017-02-22 #29 Author

    Sibling bond 😍😍 too adorable, they are both miracle babies .

    Reply

  • Moryn nagrah

    2017-02-22 #30 Author

    Glory be to God

    Reply

  • Melanin manson

    2017-02-22 #31 Author

    Wow that’s amazing ❤️

    Reply

  • Dominique Rice

    2017-02-22 #32 Author

    What a blessing👼 God was on her side

    Reply

  • Lily Fillingim

    2017-02-22 #33 Author

    Blessings! Give glory to God!!!

    Reply

  • Tristin

    2017-02-22 #34 Author

    God is good all the time💕🙏🏼 Love this story!

    Reply

  • Gabrielle L Williams

    2017-02-22 #35 Author

    That Was Nothing But God

    Reply

  • Keema Foy

    2017-02-22 #36 Author

    God is good!!! She is absolutely blessed!!

    Reply

  • Kerrineshia Kelly

    2017-02-22 #37 Author

    that’s amazing 😍

    Reply

  • Felicia

    2017-02-22 #38 Author

    GOD is sooooooo amazing!!! Bless this family!!!

    Reply

  • Sharnae

    2017-02-22 #39 Author

    Thats amazing , She Is Truley Blessed 😇

    Reply

  • Adrina

    2017-02-22 #40 Author

    Wow this is amazing

    Reply

  • Keiora Goodwin

    2017-02-22 #41 Author

    God is very good. This is a good thing.

    Reply

  • Letta

    2017-02-22 #42 Author

    Thats amazing 😍👼

    Reply

  • crystal

    2017-02-22 #43 Author

    Omg thats a blessing god is good
    All the time

    Reply

  • Souix scott

    2017-02-22 #44 Author

    Beautiful story

    Reply

  • Dreyla King

    2017-02-22 #45 Author

    Babies are such a blessing

    Reply

  • Kristen McCoy

    2017-02-22 #46 Author

    This is an amazing story and one to show God is very real. What a little blessing her sister was, a true testimonial on the wonderful miracles God can perform!! 😍

    Reply

  • Kiki

    2017-02-22 #47 Author

    Wow Such A Miracle 🙌🏾

    Reply

  • Themba

    2017-02-22 #48 Author

    God gave her power over everything

    Reply

  • Lateasha Hunter

    2017-02-22 #49 Author

    What A Blessing May God Bless This Baby

    Reply

  • Tia

    2017-02-22 #50 Author

    This is amazing!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  • Lakenda

    2017-02-22 #51 Author

    I love this! She is so blessed ❤️

    Reply

  • Jada Tillman

    2017-02-23 #52 Author

    This is amazing. It was nothing but God!

    Reply

  • Brandi Riggins

    2017-02-23 #53 Author

    Wonderful touching story. Now Poppy has a sister and hero. Blessed

    Reply

  • Tamaricus

    2017-02-23 #54 Author

    That is so Beautiful

    Reply

  • Nikilya cato

    2017-02-23 #55 Author

    Amen to them I’m happy that their family got have another happy little girl❤😫

    Reply

  • Kiyashi

    2017-02-23 #56 Author

    Wow! This is really n truly a blessing from God! This is their testimony a manifestation HVE taken place in this family….god bless u all!

    Reply

  • Kaitlyn fortenberry

    2017-02-23 #57 Author

    This is amazing I’m so glad she is doing good ! 💕

    Reply

  • Keysha Bentley

    2017-02-23 #58 Author

    My my so heartwarming. This story really touched me.

    Reply

  • Jaí Flounory

    2017-02-23 #59 Author

    God is amazing that’s all I can say . His power is unexplainable

    Reply

  • Makayla

    2017-02-23 #60 Author

    Good is good all the time 🙏🏾

    Reply

    • Makayla

      2017-02-23 #61 Author

      God is good all the time🙏🏾

      Reply

  • Kashmere

    2017-02-23 #62 Author

    She’s blessed 😇😘

    Reply

  • Rojina Adhikari

    2017-02-23 #64 Author

    Wow..really amazing story…god bless u a lot

    Reply

  • Shaniece

    2017-02-23 #65 Author

    This Is Such a Beautiful Story 😍 amen !

    Reply

  • Tamyia

    2017-02-23 #66 Author

    God is able & he will turn a situation around when you least expect it

    Reply

  • Raiven

    2017-02-23 #67 Author

    Sometimes we as human do understand why things happen… I’m a believer of God… amazing

    Reply

  • Shakay

    2017-02-23 #68 Author

    This is beautiful

    Reply

  • Toy Toy

    2017-02-23 #69 Author

    Wow this brought a tear to my eyes. God works in mysterious ways. God bless her and her family 😍😢

    Reply

  • Shay_poppn

    2017-02-23 #70 Author

    It’s amazing how god works. Very blessed

    Reply

  • Reighn Taylor

    2017-02-23 #71 Author

    This is a heart warming story ❤😍 God is good all the time.

    Reply

  • jazzmesee

    2017-02-23 #72 Author

    so amazing 😍🙏 god is really go 😘

    Reply

  • Kenneth

    2017-02-23 #73 Author

    She is one in a million 😍

    Reply

  • Breanna Pretty

    2017-02-25 #74 Author

    Truly Amazing ! God Is Always Working & Doesnt Make Any Mistakes . Blessings All Around Us ❤️

    Reply

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