Caters Real Life

Share this story with friends and family:

Toddler is lucky to be alive after cling film saved his life

Adorable tot Jack Hearne is lucky to be alive after he was born with his intestines and bladder outside of his body – and doctors were forced to wrap him in cling film to save his life.

Jack is a fighter

Jack is a fighter


Jack was born with a rare birth defect – gastroschisis – that meant his intestines and bladder were on the outside of his body, after his abdomen failed to form properly.

A team of doctors wrapped baby Jack in kitchen cling film seconds after he was delivered naturally to stop infections and to keep his organs close to his body.

And the clever trick saved the new-born’s life – four months on, he’s finally home with his proud parents, Orla and Brian, and big sister Ella, two.

Full time mum Orla, 38, said: “We were told at our 20 week scan that Jack had gastroschisis and immediately I broke down in tears, I was terrified and didn’t know what to expect.

“Brian and I were thrilled when we found out I was pregnant, I had suffered a miscarriage not long before so it was the positive news we so desperately needed.

“But after being diagnosed I was unable to enjoy my pregnancy as I was constantly worrying whether Jack would be okay.

“As soon as I heard him cry I was so relieved, a team of doctors quickly wrapped his stomach in cling film and he was taken straight to intensive care before surgery.

“Thankfully surgeons were able to insert all of his organs back inside his body, and even made his scar into a little belly button which is adorable.

“Jack has made an amazing recovery and we are all so thankful to finally have him home with us.”

Jack with cling film wrapped around his intestines and bladder

Jack with cling film wrapped around his intestines and bladder


After recently suffering a miscarriage, Orla fell pregnant and the family were delighted with the news.

But it wasn’t until the 20 week scan that the sonographer detected an abnormality and the soon-to-be parents were told the devastating news that their baby had gastroschisis.

She added: “I told Brian that he didn’t have to come with me to the scan as it was just routine, it was the last thing we were expecting but I was so glad he was there.

“The sonographer noticed something unusual and pointed to a dark ball floating above the baby’s stomach on the screen.

“We were told that our baby had gastroschisis and I instantly broke down crying, we had never heard of anything like that before and didn’t know if our baby was going to survive.

“The next morning we spoke to our consultant who confirmed our baby’s small and large intestines, as well as its bladder, were growing outside of its stomach and he warned that there could be serious side effects.

“But our consultant was brilliant and reassured us that everything was going to be ok, he referred us to Dublin and we travelled from our home in Waterford every few weeks to monitor the baby’s growth.

“It was a really emotional time for us all, I didn’t want to have my baby away from home and I especially didn’t want to leave my daughter Ella.”



It is not known exactly what causes gastroschisis but it is becoming increasingly more common, particularly in younger mothers under the age of 20.

The condition develops when the foetus is around six weeks old when the abdomen wall closes leaving organs on the outside of the body.

Orla was induced at 37 weeks and amazingly doctors were able to deliver baby Jack naturally on March 30 of this year.

Orla said: “As soon as I heard him cry I was instantly relieved but I knew he still had a long way to go.

“A team of paediatricians were waiting and they quickly wrapped his organs in cling film before letting me have a quick hold and then he was taken to intensive care.

“They took Jack to the national children’s hospital and a few hours later he had his first operation where surgeons were able to put two thirds of his organs back into his stomach.

“I was terrified that I would never see him again but thankfully the surgery was really successful.

Doctors wrapping cling film around Jack

Doctors wrapping cling film around Jack


“They hung the rest in a bag above his stomach in the hope that they would fall back into place before taking him in for his second operation the following morning – this time they were able to put all of his organs back in.

“They even turned his scar into the shape of a belly button which was just amazing, we call it his war wound.

“We were told we would be in hospital for around three months but after just 29 days we were able to take Jack home, we were all so excited but nervous at the same time.

“Jack is now four months old and is doing really well, he is the happiest child I have ever seen and nothing bothers him, we are all so grateful to have him home.”

Do you, or someone you know, have a similar story to tell? Get in touch today to earn £££ and raise awareness.


Call us on 0800 001 5599

Contact Us


With hundreds of stories to choose from, our writers have the case study you’re looking for.

Contact Us