Ryan, our newest supporter, is participating in a tennis challenge at this year’s SPORTathon to raise money for specialist neonatal ventilators. Ryan and his wife Sarah understand the importance of the right equipment when you give birth to a premature baby. Here is their story.
“At 29 weeks pregnant, Sarah had been experiencing reduced foetal movements, so we visited our local maternity day assessment unit. It was discovered that Sarah had developed sudden, severe pre-eclampsia. We were told to be prepared as our son would almost certainly be born early and unwell. Sarah received a course of steroid injections and was put on a magnesium drip to try and help with our baby's underdeveloped brain and lungs. A scan was done and we were told that he had no amniotic fluid around him and his organs were shutting down. Hours later our son Ché Alexander Hailey was born at Basingstoke hospital, weighing just 1lb 14oz. Unfortunately, we weren't able to be present for the birth because Sarah had to be placed under general anaesthetic to deliver him while I waited outside the theatre. Ché was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit while doctors and nurses worked on stabilising him. Sarah and I were able to see him for the first time when he was 8 hours old.
Overnight, Ché was struggling with his breathing and it was decided that he needed more support. He was placed on a ventilator and transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. There, he received more specialist treatment including transfusions, brain scans, and nutrition through a drip.One-week later Ché was transferred to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, where he spent five weeks in their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sarah and I lived in one of the hospital's parent rooms so we could be close to Ché. While there he received another blood transfusion, was weaned from CPAP to high flow and then low flow oxygen and began being tube fed.
Once he was strong enough, he was transferred back to Basingstoke hospital. It was great to finally get back home as Sarah hadn't been home since she had given birth. Ché spent five weeks in Basingstoke Neonatal Unit, gaining weight, establishing feeds and finally coming off oxygen support. He was ready to come home on his due date!
Our son received such incredible care from amazing, dedicated doctors and nurses. He also benefited from access to life-saving equipment like ventilators, CPAP machines, temperature-controlled incubators a hot cot and a breast pump. These are all pieces of equipment that New Life has funded for hospitals in the UK. We know how important it is for every hospital to have this equipment to provide premature and very sick babies with the best chance of survival, so we are delighted to be involved in fundraising for such an important cause.”
Ryan has set up a Justgiving page for his tennis challenge. To donate click here.