Our family became complete on Sunday the 29th July 2018 when Isla Francesca Ann Bradbury was born, a perfect, healthy baby girl. 24 hours later Isla was having her final baby checks before being discharged. The doctor came to check her over, she listened to her heart and said she had a heart murmur, but apparently that can be quite common in newborns…her oxygen levels in her blood came next. This was when the doctor went quiet. She explained that babies blood oxygen levels should be above 94%, Isla’s wouldn’t rise above 82%! This was the moment our world came to a halt…
Before we could digest what was going on, Isla was being transferred from Doncaster to PICU at Leeds Children’s Hospital with a suspected heart problem. All we knew was that one of the chambers in Isla’s heart was too small and therefore couldn’t cope with the pressures, resulting in a lack of oxygen being pumped around her body. Within the next 24 hours, it was determined that Isla had PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn). Isla had been sedated, ventilated and connected to drugs. Altogether she was on 28 medicines!
Wednesday came and it is a day we will never forget...’I’m going to be honest with you, unfortunately I think you may need to prepare yourself for the worst. Isla is very, very poorly and every minute is critical for her’. This came from the Consultant looking after her that day.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday….the days came and went. The whole time, medicines were being changed and we were constantly being reminded that anything could still happen, she wasn’t out of the woods yet and nobody knew how her body would react to the changes in medication.
Another week passed before there was talk of extubating her and giving her high flow oxygen via a nasal tube (also meaning we were allowed to hold her). This was progress. It was the 11th August, Isla was 2 weeks old and we hadn’t had any cuddles since the 30th July. Still nobody could tell us she was out of the woods, but all the signs were there...our baby girl was fighting back!
It took a further 2 weeks to wean Isla off the oxygen but finally on the 28th August, a heart scan showed that the pressures had stabilised and we were allowed to take her home. She has now finished her medication, will still be monitored to make sure her heart is coping but the doctors are hopeful that she has outgrown this condition.
The Sick Children's Trust
The Sick Children’s Trust are a charity run organisation who have a home from home set up opposite the entrance to Leeds Children’s Hospital. This facility allowed me to stay in a room for free to enable me to stay close to Isla. It is an amazing charity that reduced the stress of travelling or paying for expensive hotels to stay close and support our daughter.
I have never been a runner but I started in January 2019. Since then I have joined my local running club completed 5k and 10k races but the Great North Run will be my biggest challenge yet! I'm doing this for my baby girl and to help raise money for a charity that made it possible for me to stay close to her when she needed me the most.
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