Baby defies odds after mum almost dies helping strangers escape fire

A baby who was dying inside her mother as she lay dying from a brain aneurysm after helping a stranger escape a fire has miraculously beaten the odds.

Alison Mulvaney suffered an aneurysm while rescuing a stranger from a fire in 2005, while eight and a half months pregnant with Ashleigh.

Alison and Daniel Richford, from Speke, Liverpool, both almost lost their lives when they rushed to save people from a fire.

On their way home from visiting their son in the hospital, they noticed a large fire.

While Daniel was helping children in a nearby home, Alison went to aid another woman when a nearby explosion caused her to collapse.

Despite others initially thinking she was in labour, Alison said she knew she was dying, reports The Liverpool Echo.

It soon became apparent she had suffered a burst aneurysm and she was immediately rushed to hospital for a gruelling 10-hour operation, while doctors worked on her daughter who was born not breathing.

Meanwhile Danny was rushed to the Royal Liverpool Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Alison said: “Three vans were engulfed in flames, it was a big shock.

“I just felt an almighty bang and a pressure in my stomach like I’d been kicked and when I tried to walk I was in incredible pain.

“I made my way back to our van and was slumped over the bonnet and Danny came running thought the baby was coming, the pain was horrendous.

“Danny flagged down an off duty paramedic that turned out to be my cousin Gary Page and I just knew I was dying.

“My aneurism is extremely rare, there’s been no other cases where both mum and child survived but my cousin insisted I was went to the Women’s because he knew the baby was in trouble.

“He gave me a 10ml fluid which kept me alive and when there I felt coldness on my stomach and doctors shouting they needed to get the baby out now and I blacked out.”

Ashleigh herself was born not breathing and doctors worked to resuscitate her and was soon rushed to intensive care, suffering several seizures.

Mum Alison underwent a 10-hour operation before being transferred to intensive care in Preston.

But when she woke and was able to meet her daughter back at the Women’s, she was soon told she may never walk or talk.

Alison added: “My world fell apart. They said they would only know if she hit all of her milestones and she was delayed so it was worry all the time.

“She couldn’t talk she had her own language in nursery and needed steel shoes to strengthen her legs but she mastered all that. She had educational needs in school but she’s smashed it all.”

It is thought the couple saved the lives of six people because of their bravery, as they warned neighbours about the fire.

Despite health scares when she was born, and the tragedy of her dad Daniel taking his own life nine years ago on Christmas Day, Alison said Ashleigh has defied the odds and is now thriving.

Passing her GCSE’s, she is now in her final year at Riverside College studying Education in Early years and does her work experience at Muddy Footprints nursery in Speke.

Brother Josh is also a teaching assistant at The Royal school for the blind as Alison said she was proud of her children.

Celebrating her 18th birthday on March 21, Alison said: “Ashleigh had a Peaky blinders themed party as it’s her favourite programme and presented her God Father Gary Page, who she is named after, with a gift to say thank you for saving our lives.

Unfortunately I lost my mum when Ashleigh was 18 months old and I have my sister Heather to thank for everything as she cared for Ashleigh when I was so poorly after having her.

“Heather is like her second mum and they have a beautiful bond with each other. We also won the Mersey marvels award.”

She added: “I think back from that night and although it’s her birthday, it comes back to me what happened and it’s like I’m watching someone else but she’s come on so far. She never gives up and fights for what she wants.

“She’s just fabulous, so giving and loving to anyone.”

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