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Cool Cap: Life Saving Technology for Babies Who are Deprived of - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Cool Cap: Life Saving Technology for Babies Who are Deprived of Oxygen

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Sanford Health doctors are tipping their hats to a small cooling cap that is proving to be a real game changer for babies who are deprived of oxygen when they are born. The Cool Cap is preventing brain damage and giving children their lives back.

Childbirth is an exciting time, and most of the time mom and dad go home with a healthy newborn. But sometimes, problems can happen during delivery, leaving babies with brain damage.

Jack Youness is a boy on the go, but the 2 year old's energy is a gift his parents feared he would never have. Mom, Jeana, had a normal pregnancy, but complications arose during delivery. Jack's heart stopped right after he was born. Jeana says it was devastating. She says, "I had the thought that I'm not going to bring home a baby with me."

It took ten minutes to get Jack's heartbeat regular again -- depriving him of oxygen to the brain. Jack's father, Jon, said doctors told him his son may never have a normal life. He still chokes up talking about it even now.

Within the hour of Jack's delivery, doctors in the NICU put a Cool Cap on his head. It circulates chilled water through the special cap. Jack wore it for 72 hours. It kept his brain a few degrees lower than normal to prevent further damage and possibly reverse any damage that he suffered.

Jon says, "I would say it is a life giver."

Dr. Mohamed Mohamed took care of Jack when he was a baby. He is amazed by Jack's recovery. Dr. Mohamed says, "I saw Jack two weeks ago at the zoo and he looks perfect." He says, "It's remarkable."

Dr. Mohamed say the Youness family may not know the full extent of the damage that was done at delivery  -- until Jack is older -- but right now there is no sign of him slowing down. 

Jeana says, "knowing what could have happened -- we'll take it." She adds, "we're blessed, we're happy and we're thankful."

Sanford Health in Fargo has two newborn cool caps. Dr. Mohamed says they are used 8 to 10 times a year. 

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