Intensive Care Unit - ICU
At 8 weeks old, still minus 1 week gestation, my 4lb 5oz baby stopped breathing. As a premature baby we had dealt with a number of 'blue' occasions but a little wake up & movement was normally enough to remind him to breathe and of course there was oxygen right there at the side of us.
This day he failed to wake for his feed. 2 trips to our GP in as many hours had me down as an over anxious mother having only had her 8 week old son home for 10 days. He had a mild cold. 5 hours later we had a seriously ill baby receiving constant heart massage and bagging to keep him going. He was so tiny our local hospital didn't have small enough needles, lines or oxygen masks for him.
The specialist transfer team (CATS - Child Acute Transport Services) from Great Ormond Street arrived and ventilated him, put him in a specialised pod and transported him & me to Great Ormond Street paediatric ICU. I will never forget that blue light journey - I was thanking each & every car that moved over for us.
He was diagnosed with RSV (respiratory syncytal virus), double pneumonia & suspected meningitis. We spent the next 5 days at his bedside. The kindness of the staff was out of this world. One nurse sticks firmly on my mind. He was the one who care for Little Man, welcomed us to the unit, explained to me what was happening, showed me to a room across the street to stay in, found me when t'husband got the first train in. Tom - he was amazing. He travelled to Central London daily from Essex through love of his job.
At day 5 we were told Little Man was responding well, they wanted to lower the ventilator and told us to expect many recurrent chest infections and hospital admissions in his younger years & prepared us to possibly go home on oxygen. After a shaky first go, Little Man obviously had had enough and within a couple of hours was off it and 4 days later we returned home minus oxygen and in the next 8 years have not had 1 single chest infection.
Little Man was looking the photos and asked if we had thanked them for saving his life and this is what he did which we have sent. Perhaps someone there will remember.
In the meantime I owe my sons life to those doctors and nurses, not only at Great Ormond Street but more so in our local children's ward. Without the doctors and nurses at Hemel Hempstead our Little Man wouldn't of even got to GOSH. Those NHS doctors on more than one occasion have done both my boys and me proud as I also owe them my life and Mini Mans, so from the bottom of my heart - Thank You x
PS I also fee l it is important to add that in no way what so ever do we blame our local GPs for how ill our son became. All babies but more so premature babies can deteriorate in a matter for hours and become dangerously ill. When he was seen by the GP, he was suffering a cold, the third time I rang them to say he had gone blue and we were already on the way, they acted immediately and arranged for us to be met at the hospital door by a paediatrician