Miracle medicine manuka honey saves baby's life

A premature baby from Redcar who doctors said wouldn't survive has been welcomed home for the first time, after medics turned to miracle medicine - manuka honey, as a last resort to clear up an infection.

I'm happy I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm scared, I'm so glad to be home.

Vicky Hodgson, Louis' Mum

Louis Hodgson was born four months early and developed a bowel infection. He had nine operations and every treatment option failed.

His mum Vicky Hodgson was told to prepare for the worst:

''We were sat down and we were told that they were going to turn off his life support.  I begged them for 48 hours just to see if he was going to get any better but after 24 hours they told me they'd made their mind up, Louis wasn't going to get better with what they were able to do and it was going to be the kindest thing.''

One doctor believed putting manuka honey on the wound was worth a try. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

As a last attempt to save Louis' life, one doctor at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary believed that putting manuka honey on the wound was worth a try.

Since ancient times, honey has been used to treat wounds, burns, sores and boils.

Even in the present day, many scientists, including researchers at Newcastle University, believe that manuka honey has healing properties which can help in the fight against superbug infections.

They found that sandwiching minute quantities of manuka honey between layers of surgical mesh, like those used in operations, acts as a natural anti-biotic.

Within 48 hours of doctors spreading manuka honey on Louis' wound, he began to improve and within weeks he was thriving.

That was last year, but there was still a long way to go, as further surgery lead to another infection - and again doctors turned to manuka honey.

Just once again they decided to cover him with manuka honey, manuka honey every three hours, he was spread like a little slice of toast. And he fixed again, he healed.

Vicky Hodgson, Louis' Mum

Vicky added: ''Every single staff team that's been involved has been amazing, but they wouldn't have been able to do what they did if he hadn't been treated with the honey.''

Now, 14 months later, Louis is well enough to come home and was greeted by friends and neighbours.

Manuka honey has never tasted so sweet.

Horrendous lows and amazing highs, I wouldn't change the experience for the world because we've learnt and we've grown from it and our bond is just amazing.

Vicky Hodgson, Louis' Mum