Cardiac arrest toddler reunited with her saviour

·2-min read
Siya (Left) is reunited with Dr Kirti Singhal at St George’s Hospital  (St George’s Hospital)
Siya (Left) is reunited with Dr Kirti Singhal at St George’s Hospital (St George’s Hospital)

A little girl who survived a cardiac arrest in a London hospital has been reunited with a doctor who helped to save her life.

Siya Patel was 11 months old when she fell and hit her head on a radiator on April 15. She was rushed to St George's Hospital, Tooting, where medics discovered that the injury had hit an artery, causing her heart to stop pumping blood.

Dr Buvana Dwarakanathan, a consultant in paediatric intensive care at St George's, said Siya had lost “a lot of blood” when she arrived in A&E and was critically ill. Only 2.9 to six per cent of children survive after suffering a cardiac arrest in hospital.

 (St George’s Hospital)
(St George’s Hospital)

Emergency service workers and members of the paediatric trauma team managed to resuscitate Siya and she was taken to the hospital's paediatric intensive care unit, where she was cared for by Dr Kirti Singhal.

After spending nine days in a critical condition, Siya's eyesight returned and her muscles regained movement. Eventually, she was discharged home after being assessed for neurological damage. Three months later, Dr Singhal paid a surprise visit to Siya and her family at the St George's Dragon Centre.

“I can't believe Siya remembered me,” she said. “It made my day being able to see her again.”

Siya's father Paras Patel was convinced that Siya wouldn't wake up when she was admitted to A&E and thanked Dr Singhal and her team for saving her life.

A smiling Siya with her brother Tej (St George’s Hospital)
A smiling Siya with her brother Tej (St George’s Hospital)

"She was supportive, she cared deeply for Siya, and always made the time to keep us updated on the ward.

“My wife and I were really scared, but both Dr Singhal and Dr Buvana gave us hope during those darkest days. I will never forget their kindness, nor will I forget how much the team supported us during one of the most challenging times for our family. Siya spent her first birthday in hospital, so I know St George's will always hold poignant memories for us."

Three months later, Siya is a happy 14-month-old girl and has relearned to crawl and eat and is beginning to talk.

Mr Patel said that while Siya had a "long road" to full recovery ahead, the medics at St George's had given him hope and positivity. "I know that Siya is going to strive and succeed in life, and I'm proud that she is still smiling after such a tough time," he added.

St George's treats over 130,000 children every year and around two thirds of the hospital's patients come in through the paediatric emergency department.