'Healthy' one-month-old baby boy fighting deadly sepsis in India as Leeds family launch urgent £250k fundraiser

The Leeds family of a one-month-old baby boy who contracted sepsis in India after battling a one-in-two-million condition have launched an urgent fundraiser to bring him to the UK - to try and save his life.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 10:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 10:44 am
Peter, Grace and Asher

Asher, who was born on June 25, was described as a 'healthy, happy' baby boy for the first month of his life.

However, his parents Peter Charlton and Grace did not know of an undiagnosed condition of his bowels.

Asher was diagnosed with mid gut volvulus, a rare condition that occurs in about 1 in 2 million babies.

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Asher with mum Grace

In the womb, Asher’s small intestine had not formed as it should, instead twisting into a knot.

This had resulted in cutting off the blood supply from the majority of his small intestine, causing it to 'die and rot inside him' according to his uncle George, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

His condition often goes undetected - babies are healthy for the first month of their life before becoming ill, by which time it is too late.

Brave Asher contracted sepsis in the intensive care unit of an Indian hospital after being admitted last Sunday following vomiting and suspected infection.

Asher

His family have now launched a desperate bid to bring him to the UK for more advanced treatment in an attempt to save his life.

Now, an urgent GoFundMe fundraiser has been launched to try and save Asher.More than £100,000 has been raised in less than 48 hours in attempts to fund Asher's potential medical treatment if he is brought back to the UK.

His uncle George explained: "On Wednesday, to find out why Asher was in such anguish, he had a CT scan.

"Asher had only 5 cm of healthy intestine out of 2 metres worth.

Peter, Grace and Asher

"With his bowel untwisted and the surgery complete Peter and Grace spent precious time with what they believed would be the last moments with their 41 day old son.

"They put him on a ventilator and told Peter and Grace that when he comes off he would die.

"Maybe in seconds, maybe in hours.

"However, due to the impact of the coronavirus the morgue was full, so it was decided to keep Asher on the ventilator until the morning."

On Thursday morning - against all the odds - Asher was still alive and breathing for himself.

His uncle said he was 'refusing to die'.

Asher had further surgery on Friday morning which was successful.

Despite the surgery, Peter - who previously worked in primary schools in Leeds, at the Granary restaurant, volunteered as a coach at Leeds Carnegie American football team and was a member at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Horsforth - and Grace were given two options.

They could either leave Asher bound to hospital on a 24 hour feeding tube or to stop the invasive procedure and leave Asher to pass away.

Faced with these options, the family now believe a UK hospital may be able to save his life.

George said: "The hospital in India have been really good.

"Helpful, understanding, compassionate but they cannot do any more, the surgery isn’t available out there."

The family have been in contact with hospitals in the UK to determine potential treatment.

A £250,000 target has been set on GoFundMe to fund travel and treatment for Asher.

More than 700 people have donated in the last 24 hours.

George added: "We have been overwhelmed by kindness and generosity of those who have given gifts to support Asher and we are eternally thankful.

"There is still a long way to go and Asher’s life depends on it."

To keep up to date with the story you can follow @asher_charlton on twitter and use the hashtag #SaveAshersLife

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Thank you

Laura Collins