On 12th November 2018 Kate went into pre-term labour at 7 months pregnant. After rushing to the hospital at 11:30pm with pains the midwives soon realised Kate was in labour and had fully dilated. They immediately carried out an ultrasound scan and the doctors found the baby to be in an awkward breach position. It was too dangerous to have a natural delivery so an emergency c-section was performed. The consultants at Harrogate Hospital worked so hard to try and get the baby out safely but as quickly as possible.
The baby was born at 00:38am on 13th November weighing 2.2lbs. The baby was immediately taken through to the special baby care unit where he was stabilised on ventilators to help with his breathing. Adam was able to go and meet his son and when talking to him he called the baby by his nickname 'Coconut'. The baby opened his eyes and looked for his Daddy. He knew his Daddy's voice. The doctors were astonished at how active and alert the little baby was.
As he was so premature he needed to be transferred as soon as possible to a specialist unit. The nearest place was Bradford Royal Infirmary Neonatal Unit. Before they transferred him over to Bradford they brought him through in his incubator so Kate could meet him for a few minutes. Later that day Kate was transferred to the labour ward in Bradford so she and Adam could be near their son.
The morning of 14th November Kate and Adam visited their son in the neonatal unit as the doctors were doing their rounds. The doctors were amazed at what a little fighter he was and that he kept breathing over the ventilator. He was defying all odds. Kate was able to put her hand into the incubator and her baby wrapped his tiny hand around her finger and held on. He was also responding to his Mummy and Daddy's voices. As Kate had undergone major surgery she was told to go and rest.
Unfortunately within the next hour Kate and Adam were called back down to the neonatal unit to be told their baby had gone drastically downhill. His oxygen levels were extremely low and after carrying out a brain scan they found a massive bleed on his brain. There was nothing more the doctors could do. Heartbroken and devastated, Kate and Adam held their baby boy as he passed away in their arms at 3:20pm.
They stayed the night in a private room within the neonatal unit and that evening they were able to bathe their baby, make ink and clay imprints of his feet and dress him. They were given a cold cot so the baby could stay with them that night.
The next day a consultant from Bradford recommended Martin House Hospice for some respite care. Kate, Adam and their baby were transferred to Martin House where they were offered a stay of up to 5 days. What Martin House offered was amazing. During the stay Kate and Adam were able to make lifelong memories and bond with their son which was priceless. The staff at Martin House showed them a path forward and gently led them down the first few steps to face the future. Martin House helped Adam and Kate pick up the pieces, showed them how to construct positive memories and taught them how to love their innocent little baby. They never wanted to leave Martin House, but it set them up for facing the world again.
Kate and Adam had to register the birth and death of their son a few days after. They hadn't decided on a boy's name at this point and rather than choosing a random name they decided to call their son the only name he ever knew; his nickname, Coconut. They affectionately registered him as Coconut Curtis.
Martin House is a fantastic charity helping families with children that have life-shortening conditions, but they also help bereaved parents. Kate and Adam are now focusing their efforts to raise as much awareness about Martin House whilst fundraising where possible. Without the care, help, love and support given by Martin House Adam and Kate would not be in the position they are now. They are looking to the future, whilst remembering their son every day and with ongoing bereavement counselling from Martin House they will get there.
Please help us raise funds for this amazing charity. You can view Team Coconut Curtis here:
The Curtis/Hatcher families