Parents fought to save their “beautiful twin girl after her heart stopped beating for 22 minutes.
Mum Carly Brown went to check on her 17-month-old Summer Rae, but she was unresponsive and had stopped breathing.
She was forced to give her baby girl CPR until an ambulance crew arrived at their home in Blyth near Newcastle.
Paramedics were able to get the tot’s heart beating again, around 22 minutes after she went into cardiac arrest.
But with her brain starved of oxygen, it is feared that the “beautiful” youngster will be left severely disabled as a result of the heartbreaking incident.
Summer and twin brother Dillan were born at 34 weeks on March 18 last year, with the former suffering from chest problems.
During her life she has experienced a cough and wheezing but, despite multiple calls to doctors, it was not put down as anything serious.
It was on July 17 when the family’s lives would change forever.
Summer had a bad chest so Carly gave her some Calpol before putting her down for her nap.
But when the mum-of-three went to check on her she was struggling to breathe.
Carly said : “We all just started to panic,”
“Summer was unconscious and fighting for breathing. My friend phoned an ambulance and the call handler asked if anyone knew CPR.
“It was like an out of body experience while I was pumping her chest. She had actually stopped breathing altogether.
“I have flashbacks to that moment every time I go to the house. It was absolutely horrific. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
“I’d only buried my mam two days before and I was thinking we’d be having to plan another funeral.”
Summer was transferred to Newcastle Royal Infirmary where she was placed on full life support.
With her heart stopping for around 22 minutes, doctors told Carly and dad Ryan, 34, to prepare for the worst.
But she defied the odds and 12 days later she was taken off a ventilator meaning she was able to breathe again on her own.
An MRI scan, though, showed swelling on the brain and the family was dealt another blow when they were told their baby girl is likely to be severely disabled.
Carly said: “They said Summer isn’t going to be the same child anymore and we just cried.
“We didn’t sleep for three days after that. You read about these types of incidents but you never expect it to happen to you.
“We were told they might have to amputate her left leg below the knee due to them believing she had sepsis
“We also got told she’ll be severely disabled – similar to someone with cerebral palsy.
“We know there’s swelling to the brain but we won’t know the full extent until she gets older.”
Summer is likely to be in hospital for a number of months with NHS treatment involving physiotherapy and heavy medication before being allowed home.
Carly is on sick leave from work while Ryan has quit his job at a press shop to be by their daughter’s side in hospital each day.
Her distraught parents are facing the tough task of balancing family life with Summer’s twin brother Dillan and 11-year-old daughter Gracie-Lee.
Carly said: “When my mum died I felt like I lost half of my heart. Now this with Summer I feel like it has took another big chunk away.
“My life was perfect two months ago. I didn’t realise just how perfect it was until now.
“We’ve gone from being a family of five to just being completely disjointed. We’re all separate with us spending time at the hospital then we need to see Dillan and Gracie-Lee who must be really confused at what is happening.
“Summer is the most sassy, determined and beautiful little girl. She’s absolutely hilarious. She’s known as ‘the gaffer’ in our house because she’s in charge.
“I would swap places with her if I could because she really doesn’t deserve this.”
The 36-year-old says they are determined to fight with every last breath to get Summer alternative treatment, which she believes will drastically improve her quality of life.
They are trying to raise £20,000 on a Gofundme page to get Summer to America for hyperbaric oxygen therapy – involving breathing pure oxygen in a pressurised environment.
But she is currently unable to travel in her condition, her parents in the meantime have rented a hyperbaric oxygen chamber at their home.
“I’ve done some research and the results have been fantastic for so many people,” Carly said.
“This isn’t available on the NHS so we will have to bring summer home every day for an hour and 20 minutes for the treatment.
“We are now going to do as much as we can to give Summer the best chance, but time is of the essence.”
A total of £12,500 has been raised so far which has left the family “overwhelmed” by the generosity of others.
Carly also wants to raise awareness of importance of learning CPR which can save someone’s life.
She said: “It is vital that people, especially parents, know how to do CPR so in these situations you know what to do.
“I was told by paramedics that what I did saved Summer’s life.
“It can be the difference between life and death and I would urge as many people as possible to get the CPR training.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for the support. It means absolutely everything to us.