The Miracle of Life: Twice

This film was funded and co-produced by The North East England Stem Cells Institute (NESCI) and was designed to provide information about non-embryonic stem cells, which can be harvested from umbilical cord blood. It followed the story of an umbilical cord blood donation and the various different ways this blood can be used.

The first section of the film showed the process by which the blood was collected from the cord and then how the stem cells may be extracted and used to grow organ tissues for transplant in a laboratory. This featured footage taken at Newcastle’s Centre for Life and footage of two births, which we filmed at Newcastle General Hospital. The second section of the film told the story of a girl called Eva, who at 18 months old was diagnosed with a condition called ‘severe combined immune deficiency’ and was confined to living in a sterile hospital environment. Upon receiving a cord blood transfusion, Eva’s immune system was effectively kick-started by the stem cells and her condition began to improve. The end of the film shows Eva fit and well at her 1 year check-up.

The film was produced in two versions; one interactive and one linear. The interactive version was shown in maternity wards throughout the country and the linear version was used by NESCI to promote cord blood stem cell technology and the pioneering research taking place in Newcastle at conferences all over the world.


The film was featured at the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences (PEALS) conference at Durham University in 2008 and has since been shown at various public engagement events the UK.