A 16-week-old British baby is recuperating after surviving complex and unorthodox surgery that required him to be "frozen" for four days.
The infant, Finley Burton, underwent the procedure so that surgeons could repair two holes in his heart, and created a local tabloid frenzy in the process. "Before, he was very quiet and withdrawn," his mother, Donna Link-Emery, of Durham, England, told ABC News. Link-Emery said she and the boy's father, Aaron Burton, sought medical attention when their child began showing signs of cardiac arrest and wasn't gaining weight. "Now, he is so loud and happy and smiley and just such a good baby. His presence fills the room."
The practice -- called therapeutic hypothermia, or lowering of the body temperature -- is often used for babies who require surgery for birth defects, according to Dr. Timothy Gardner, a cardiovascular surgeon and recent president of the American Heart Association.
However, given that the Finley's body was cooled to 92 degrees Fahrenheit -- less than seven degrees below the standard body temperature of 98.6 -- during the procedure, Gardner is quick to dismiss the suggestion that Finley was truly "frozen," despite what reports have suggested. Still, photos and footage of Finley with his doting parents are enough to thaw the heart of even the most ardent skeptic.
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