Toddler nearly died when a rare birthmark inside her throat restricted her airway

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
Mia Rogers has a birthmark in her throat which was restricting her airway. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia Rogers has a birthmark in her throat which was restricting her airway. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)

A toddler who nearly died when a rare birthmark inside her throat started restricting her airway is now making an incredible recovery.

When she was just five weeks old, Mia Rogers, now one, from St Mary's Island in Chatham, Kent, was taken to hospital after her parents noticed she was making a high-pitched wheezing sound while breathing.

On arrival at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent, in May last year, the toddler was taken immediately to the paediatric intensive care unit.

There she spent seven days on a ventilator before having to undergo surgery, involving cameras being put down her throat to find out what was obstructing her airways.

"After the team saw Mia, they took the decision to incubate her and put her on mechanical ventilation to help with her breathing so it would be safe to take her to a hospital in London," Mia's mum, Sophie Collins, 32, explains.

"It was so scary. As they did not know what was in her airway, the team had to prepare us that she could potentially die."

Mia has a birthmark which was restricting her airway, pictured in hospital. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia has a birthmark which was restricting her airway, pictured in hospital. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)

Surgery revealed Mia had a rare condition called a subglottic haemangioma – a birthmark growing in her throat that prevented her from breathing properly.

According to the NHS, a haemangioma is a collection of small blood vessels that occur under the skin and can sometimes be called 'strawberry marks'.

A subglottic haemangioma is similar and can occur in the air passage beneath the vocal cords.

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Doctors treating Mia said they usually only have around two cases of this condition a year and the rate it grew in Mia's case was also uncommon.

Following her operation, Mia was taken to Evelina London Children’s Hospital by the South Thames Retrieval Service under a blue light after her condition had deteriorated.

South Thames Retrieval Service is a specialist team which brings intensive care equipment via a specially equipped ambulance to the sickest children.

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Mia Rogers was taken to hospital at just five weeks old after her parents noticed she was making a high-pitched wheezing sound while breathing. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia Rogers was taken to hospital at just five weeks old after her parents noticed she was making a high-pitched wheezing sound while breathing. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)

Mia was immediately started on medication to reduce the size of the mass and after 13 days she was allowed back home.

A few months later, however, in October, Mia started to deteriorate.

Doctors found the haemangioma had not fully responded to the medication and had continued to grow, meaning Mia would need a further operation to remove the blockage.

Ten days later Mia underwent the procedure, this time to remove a large part of the mass blocking her airways, again by going down her throat.

"The operation was about three-and-a-half hours," Collins continues. "The wait was excruciating but the procedure was successful and after a few more days in hospital, we were able to take Mia home."

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The birthmark that was restricting Mia's airway. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
The birthmark that was restricting Mia's airway. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)

Since the operation, the now one-year-old has gone from strength to strength.

"Mia is so much better in herself now," her mum explains. "She is just so lovable and is always up for a cuddle. She also loves playing with her big sister Isla."

Mia is still under the care of Evelina London, with the team regularly checking on her progress.

The family have been told it is possible the haemangioma may grow again until it naturally shrinks away around the age of 18 months.

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Mia is now making an amazing recovery, pictured with dad, Jon Rogers, mum, Sophie Collins, and sister, Isla. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia is now making an amazing recovery, pictured with dad, Jon Rogers, mum, Sophie Collins, and sister, Isla. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia's dad Jon Rogers has been fundraising for the hospital that helped save Mia's life. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)
Mia's dad Jon Rogers has been fundraising for the hospital that helped save Mia's life. (Sophie Collins/Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital/SWNS)

In order to thank staff for helping save their daughter's life, the family has since raised more than £5,800.

A year after Mia was taken to hospital dad Jon Rogers ran the route the ambulance took his daughter to the Evelina.

The 34-year-old was joined by friends and family at various points throughout the 34-mile trek and Mia's mother also ran alongside him for the first and last five miles.

"The second that the Evelina London team saw Mia, we knew we were in safe hands," Collins adds.

"Without them, Mia could have died."

Mia's dad, a care home manager, adds: "The ear, nose and throat team who care for Mia are superb and have gone above and beyond on so many occasions.

"We will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us."

To donate to Mia’s cause, visit the family’s JustGiving page.

Additional reporting SWNS.

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