It’s a tragedy every parent hopes will never happen to them: having to say goodbye to a newborn child just as it’s welcomed into the world. Yet as Kate and David Ogg embraced the lifeless body of their little baby, they knew that they were living this very nightmare. But then something miraculous happened, and it defied all logic.
Before this, however, David and Kate Ogg, who hail from Queensland, Australia, were like any other couple, and after tying the knot the pair were keen to begin raising their own little family. Unfortunately, though, things weren’t going to be as easy as they had hoped.
Indeed, the couple spent three years trying to conceive. Then, finally, they heard the good news they had been waiting for: they were going to become parents. And there was an even bigger surprise in store for the Oggs: Kate was actually carrying twins.
Of course, this meant that the expectant parents had a lot of sorting out to do before the babies arrived. After all, not only were they having twins, but they were also expecting a boy and a girl – otherwise known as a pigeon pair.
On March 25, 2010, however, events took an unexpected and worrying turn when Kate was rushed into hospital: she was just 26 weeks into her pregnancy, and yet she was going in to labor. All the couple could do was hope against hope that they would be okay.
First to arrive was the couple’s little boy, Jamie, and he was followed two minutes later by his sister, Emily. The couple were naturally overjoyed by their new arrivals, but something wasn’t right: Jamie was too quiet.
“They were both born in their sac but Jamie didn’t make a noise when they tore it open,” Kate said in an interview with Daily Mail Australia last year. “Emily let out a big wail.”
In the heart-breaking silence, the couple knew that something was desperately wrong. Medics rushed to the scene, and the couple watched, terrified, as dozens of staff huddled around their new born baby boy searching for a sign of life.
Sadly, Jamie wasn’t breathing, and his heartbeat was negligible. The medical staff kept trying to save him, but when their efforts yielded nothing after 20 minutes, they had to give up. Doctors then told the shocked couple the news they had been dreading: their little boy hadn’t made it.
“I saw him gasp but the doctor said it was no use,” said Kate told the Daily Mail Australia. “I took Jamie off the doctor, asked everyone to leave. He was cold and I just wanted him to be warm.”
Kate could see the newborn desperately trying to breathe and so she took him into her arms, refusing to give up hope. Despite everything the doctors had told her, the new mom could still see signs of life in her son, and she was determined to keep on fighting for him.
She also told David to remove his clothes and join her in the bed, where his skin contact could help warm the freezing little baby. And as their hearts broke for their dying little boy, both parents began whispering words of comfort. They spoke of how much they loved him, and they told him about his little sister in the next room. Most importantly, they told him to keep fighting.
And that’s when something incredible happened. The couple were still talking to the baby, who was pressed tightly against Kate’s chest, when all of a sudden his minuscule little hand reached out. To the couple’s disbelief, Jamie clutched his dad’s finger and – incredibly – blinked open his tiny eyes. He was alive and breathing.
Gradually, with his head still resting on Kate’s chest, Jamie started to, quite literally, come alive. He even suckled on a drop of breast milk that Kate had put on the end of her finger.
As they watched their little boy grow stronger, Kate and David kept calling for the doctor. But staff insisted that the baby was in fact deceased, and that the movements they were seeing were merely reflexes. Eventually, after the Oggs asked that he explain the death of their son, the doctor returned. And he was pretty stunned when he had to confirm that, yes, little Jamie was indeed alive.
“If we had let the doctor walk out of the room with him, Jamie would have been dead,” Kate told the MailOnline later. But while Jamie’s story is miraculous, there could well be a logical explanation.
Indeed, it’s thought that the heat which Kate transferred to Jamie as she held him close to her chest, together with the sound of her heartbeat, could have stimulated the little boy into life. In fact, according to the children’s charity Unicef, just an hour of skin contact after birth can reduce a baby’s stress, stabilize their heart rate and help them breathe and feed easier.
It’s little wonder that Kate is now a strong advocate of skin-to-skin contact. “[The baby] comes out of you, and all of a sudden there isn’t the warmth or smell of the mother,” she explained to NBC News in 2010. “Putting him back on my chest was as close to him being inside me where he was safe.”
Twins Emily and Jamie are now six years old and doing very well indeed. They’ve also been joined by another sibling after Kate gave birth to a second son, Charlie. And amazingly, Jamie hasn’t had a single major health issue growing up.
Kate and David remain forever grateful for their little delivery room miracle. After the twins were born, David began fundraising for Australia’s Miracle Babies Foundation, a charity that supports the families of premature babies, and as of June 2016, he had raised nearly $7,500 for this very worthy cause.