Laith’s Story

Up until the day of Mrs. Sorrell’s non-stress test, she was told that everything about her baby boy was perfect. There were no complications and his ultrasounds twice a week were normal, but his heartbeat was very low on that day, and that was the first sign that something was wrong.

She had to do an emergency Cesarean section and was put to sleep, hardly remembering anything when she woke up.

She remembers only that the doctors there said they weren’t sure of what was going on but that it wasn’t the umbilical cord. It could have been anything. He just wasn’t breathing.

The doctors had to resuscitate Laith for 13 minutes before Shands took him and his mother and his new family had to say good-bye for a while.

She had her baby at the Gulf Coast hospital in Panama City, but when she awoke from surgery, the doctors told her they were going to take her baby to Shands in Gainesville.

The baby arrived at Shands and was cared for by neonatologist Michael Weiss, M.D., and his team. Weiss placed Laith Aggel on the cooling treatment where his body was cooled for a period of 72 hours and then slowly re-warmed to normal temperature.

Mr. Aggel was at Shands for the first few days while she couldn’t be, watching over their child.

“Its nothing any of us ever would have imagined,” Mrs. Sorrell said.

At first, their family members didn’t understand the process but knew Laith was in wonderful hands. They could see he was definitely getting better.

“Once I explained to family, how well he was doing, so many prayers were with us,” she added. “We’re grateful.”

Laith Aggel was born on May 30, 2011 at 11 a.m.

Each day he was at Shands, Laith made substantial progress.

It seemed that every day he was being taken off of medication or off of a machine.

“He was doing so much by himself. He’s so strong. The doctors were impressed by Him. Of course they prepare you for the reality if things don’t go smoothly, but they were amazed by how well he did. He did wonderful.”

He had the procedure done before she knew it was even happening, but once she read about hypothermia being used on patients, she thought it made sense.

“It’s a wonderful process they found; I know it was what helped him.”

If the circumstance ever arose again, Mrs. Sorrell said she would definitely be in favor of the cooling process.

“Every little step they took saved his life,” she said.

The family lives in Panama City, FL. where Laith is breathing a new life.

“When you look at him now—he’s just perfect,” she said.