Baby survives after life-support switched off

Given just 1% chance of survival, amazing Grace beats ‘incurable’ meningitis


A six-week-old baby diagnosed with ‘incurable’ meningitis made a remarkable recovery after her life-support machine was switched off.


Doctors told Grace Vincent’s parents that she only had a 1% chance of survival after contracting a rare form of the brain disease and, after four days in hospital, they made the decision to turn off her life-support machine.

However, as Grace’s mum, Emily Ashurst, and dad, Pete Vincent, cradled Grace in her arms waiting for her to slip away, she defied the odds and started to breathe by herself. “We came to the decision to switch off the machine,” said Emily. “She was baptised and all the family came to say goodbye. We held her in our arms and waited for her last breath.”

But Grace’s last breath never came and she is now recovering and regaining her senses at home. “Her breathing has stabilised, showing that her brain stem is not damaged,” said Emily. “She has opened one eye but is still blind. Her pupils have begun dilating back to their normal size. I think it is miraculous given the experience of five weeks ago.”


Grace’s dad, Peter, a Royal Marine who returned from Afghanistan a month before Grace fell ill, said, “Six months in Afghanistan was easy compared to that. The decision to turn off her life-support machine was based on what the doctors were telling us.”

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