Photo Gallery: Piper, Norfolk’s little miracle who was born inside out

Wayne, 23, Amanda, 29, Leona, 8, and Piper Smith, seven-months-old, at home in King's Lynn, Norfolk.

Wayne, 23, Amanda, 29, Leona, 8, and Piper Smith, seven-months-old, at home in King's Lynn, Norfolk. Piper was was born with part of her liver, intestines and bladder outside her body. - Credit: SWNS.com

Little Piper Smith was given just a 25pc chance of survival when she was born with her bladder, intestine and liver outside her body.

Her mother, Amanda Smith, 29, was told her unborn child had a rare weakness of the abdominal wall at her 11-week scan after doctors spotted unusual lumps.

It meant unborn Piper grew in the womb with her liver, intestine and bladder outside her body – and was not expected to survive labour.

But amazingly the infant was successfully born at 35 weeks with all her organs intact and fully-functioning.

Amanda and husband Wayne, a 23-year-old mechanic, are now waiting for surgeons to perform a six-hour operation to put her organs back inside her body.


You may also want to watch:


It means Piper is now living with her bladder sitting on the outside of her stomach – wrapped in cling film to keep it moist.

Proud mother-of-two Amanda, from Hillington Square, King's Lynn, said: 'It was really scary when Piper was born. She was very poorly. It was like she was inside out.

Most Read

'It was really hard as I was not allowed to pick her up as she had to go straight into the incubator.

'The doctors said she had a 50pc chance of survival with her intestine and liver outside her body.

'When they saw the bladder was outside too they said it went down to 25pc. It was terrifying thinking she might not make it.

'I don't think Piper is aware of her organs being on the outside rather than on the inside. She is not in any pain.

'She is starting to sit up now and she is a very happy baby.'

Medics diagnosed Amanda's unborn baby with bladder exstrophy and exomphalos after spotting unusual lumps on her scan at 11 weeks.

Doctors said the foetus was unlikely to survive, even if she made it through childbirth, but Amanda and Wayne decided to keep her.

Amanda was due to be induced at 38 weeks, but was rushed by ambulance to specialists at University College Hospital, London, at 35 weeks, on June 26.

Piper spent four days in intensive care and was eventually sent home with Amanda from Great Ormond Street Hospital after five weeks.

Her parents have to change the cling-film dressing on Piper's bladder every time she changes her nappy – about five times a day.

All three of Piper's organs will be put back inside her body and the muscle and skin stretched over her stomach in a six-hour operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Bladder exstrophy occurs in one in every 40,000 births. Abigail Reeve, consultant paediatrician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Lynn, said: 'Bladder exstrophy and exomphalos are both relatively rare conditions.

'Both conditions can range from being mild, with only a little bit of the abdominal contents outside the body, to a severe defect with a large amount of exposed abdominal contents.

'The outcome after surgery depends on the severity of the condition at birth – how much of the intestines are outside the body.'

chris.bishop@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus