Weʼre raising £200 to help raise money towards a new cooling mattress for the neonatal unit at James Cook university hospital.
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This year i shall be doing the great north run in aid of the neonatal unit at james cook university hospital.
My niece Heidi was born on 3rd June 2018 at James Cook University Hospital.
During the early stages of labour, Heidi’s umbilical cord ruptured, causing severe blood loss whilst she was still in the womb. Heidi was then delivered by emergency caesarean section, but was at that point very poorly. We were told she may not make it.
She had lost most of her blood supply and her heart wasn’t beating when she was delivered. During her resuscitation she was given, amongst other things, a blood transfusion and thankfully she clung onto life. She then was transferred into Neonatal Intensive care, where she received a further blood transfusion. Throughout her resuscitation, and during the early efforts to make her stable in intensive care, Heidi’s heartbeat was very weak and could not establish a strong rhythm.
Heidi’s initial ordeal lasted approximately thirty minutes. From the first signs of her blood loss to confirming her heart was in trouble was 8 minutes. She was then delivered in 12 minutes and resuscitated for 10 minutes until her heartbeat was confirmed.
As you will be aware, blood carries oxygen throughout the body and even very short periods of time without oxygen can severely damage the major organs, most notably the brain. Once the brain has been damaged, unlike other organs, it is unable to recover. Furthermore, the brain can continue to self degrade after the initial damage.
The only way to limit any further brain damage is to place the baby in what is known as ‘Therapeutic Hypothermia’. This involves lowering the body temperature from 37.5 degrees down to 33 degrees for a period of 72 hours. Neonatal therapeutic hypothermia is a relatively new treatment option in which an infant’s total body temperature is reduced shortly after birth in order to reduce the chances of severe brain damage and slow down disease progression. Infants who receive the treatment are less likely to develop severe developmental issues such a hearing loss, vision loss, and cognitive impairments. Furthermore, the rate of infant death declines with those receiving neonatal therapeutic hypothermia treatment.
The only way to achieve a state of therapeutic hypothermia is by placing the baby on a very expensive cooling mattress.
Once she was stable Heidi was cooled for 72 hours. Initial diagnosis of Heidi was that she had suffered heart and kidney damage as well as suspected brain damage. After her 72 hours were up Heidi was slowly warmed over a period of 12 hours, at which point she literally came to life.
Heidi spent a further eight days in Neonatal, but she was discahrged home on June 15th. She is thriving in her early development and the initial signs are that she has not suffered any major brain damage. She will be reviewed every four months and we won’t know for certain how she will develop until she is a little older, but not only did beautiful Heidi survive, she seems to have come through her ordeal without any severe lasting effects.
It later came to light that not every baby born under similar circumstances is as lucky as Heidi. Incredibly the Neonatal unit does not have an abundant supply of these machines and if there isn’t one spare and ready when a baby is born with blood/oxygen loss then they will have a very different outcome to Heidi.
How sad that after surviving their early fight a sick baby must rely on luck in order to even have a chance of making a recovery?
Having seen just what these cooling machines can do, we have decided to try to raise as much money as we can in order to fund at least one more. Heidi’s cooling mat had been donated in the memory of a little girl who had sadly died.
Those two weeks in James Cook Neonatal broke the fanilys hearts. But they also opened our eyes to just how wonderful our NHS can be. We can’t even find the words to say just how good all of the neonatal staff were, and we certainly can’t ever thank them enough for what they have done for us. All we can do is try to raise money to ensure that all babies born under similar circumstances are guaranteed the same chances as beautiful little Heidi.
Any donation made to James Cook Neonatal in Heidi’s name would be more than we could ever ask for and would go a long way to helping poorly babies like Heidi in the future.
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- 9 days ago
Tony Moore9 days ago
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Aug 6, 2018
Thank you so much for taking this on Tony. Good luck with the run. All the very best to Heidi and all her family.
Aug 1, 2018
A fantastic cause - good luck!
Aug 1, 2018
Good luck for a fantastic cause! Love the Pinks x
Jul 31, 2018
We're so glad that Heidi received the best possible care thanks to the neonatal staff. Our NHS are amazing. Heidi is a little ray of sunshine💖 who has the best family. Good luck Tony!
Jul 27, 2018
Good luck Tony! Such an amazing cause! Love, Emma, Ben & Lily xx
Jul 25, 2018
Go go go youWell doneFantastic cause x
Jul 23, 2018
Great cause best of luck Disney 👍🏻👍🏻
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