Baby’s ‘Brain Freeze’ After An Ice Cream Smoothie Was Really A Terrifying Seizure

A baby boy had to be resuscitated after suffering from a dangerous seizure after drinking a cold ice cream smoothie.

brain freeze 1
Alfie with his family. Source: Supplied

Jennifer Lofthouse, initially thought her six-month-old son Alfie was experiencing a  ‘brain freeze’ from the cold ice cream smoothie he was sipping on.

But, as it tragically turns out, he was actually experiencing a deadly seizure. The little tot slipped into unconsciousness. Frantically, Jennifer called emergency services.

Alfie was later diagnosed with a condition called Autosomal Dominant Hypocalcemia, which is characterised by low levels of calcium in the blood. This means Alfie has a low level of the hormone called parathyroid hormone, and this is the hormone that is involved in regulating the calcium levels in the blood.

Alfie as a baby. Source: Supplied

Jennifer tells The Healthy Mummy that Alfie had his first seizure when he was only three weeks old and was just getting over bronchitis.

“He missed a feed in the early hours of the morning,” she says. “He slowly went grey, floppy and lifeless. The hospital did some tests and realised his calcium levels were low and months later we were told he had hypoparathyroidism, but doctors could not work out why the tablets weren’t working.”

Fast forward to when baby Alfie had the second seizure while he was drinking the smoothie. Jennifer, who is based in the U.K., says her boy went still. However, at first, she assumed he was having a ‘brain freeze’.

“He screamed with pain and I picked him up thinking he had brain freeze,” she admits. “He stopped crying and then he fainted.

“I scooped him up and called the emergency room and he slowly went blue and wasn’t breathing. The ambulance arrived and he slowly came around.”

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Alfie with his sister Mia. Source: Supplied

Jennifer, who is also mum to nine-year-old Mia, says more tests at the hospital were done, but doctors couldn’t confirm what was wrong.

When Alfie was nine months old he was referred to see a specialist in London. That’s when Alfie was diagnosed with Autosomal Dominant Hypocalcemia.

“Alfie wears a belt with a insulin pump inside, instead of insulin running through the pump that diabetics use, Alfie has the hormone running through his,” Jennifer says.

“This drops through the line and into his body through a cannula which we inject into him. The line and set last 3 days before we have to change it and make up the new hormone.”

Alfie has to have his blood tested twice a week by community nurses to make sure his calcium levels are correct.

Alfie has also had high levels of calcium in his urine, which has lead to deposits of calcium in the kidneys or the formation of kidney stones. Jennifer says this can damage the kidneys and impair their function.

The family want to raise money for Alfie for a waterproof pump. Source: Supplied

Alfie’s family is now raising money via a GoFund me page for a waterproof pump, as Alfie, who is now two, has to wear his current non-waterproof pump 24/7 and they can’t take him swimming.

The family also want to raise money for a calcium blood tester so they can test Alfie’s blood at home.

Poor little Alfie, we hope he will be able to splash about in a pool soon!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jennifer.

What Is Autosomal Dominant Hypocalcemia?

People with autosomal dominant hypocalcemia have low levels of calcium in their blood. Abnormal levels of calcium and other molecules in the body can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms, although about half of affected individuals have no associated health problems, says the Genetics Home Reference.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle cramping
  • Twitching

For more information on the condition, click here.

For more stories on kid’s health, click here.


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