Both of these little boys, Flynn and Albie are little fighters who have remained nicu buddies. Flynn and Albie were both premature babies is the Rosie hospital. Both Helen and I were able to be with our sons because of the sick children's trust!!!
WHEN little Albie Mellor was born 14 weeks prematurely, he weighed as much as a bag of sugar.
For the next nine weeks, brave Albie battled for his life, with parents Tyler and Michala unsure of whether he would ever make it home.
Miraculously Albie, who was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, pulled through the worst of it and was discharged from hospital
We were overwhelmed with the support they received from The Sick Children’s Trust throughout the ordeal.
The charity supported the parents by providing accommodation while Albie was treated at The Rosie Hospital, in Cambridge
Albie weighed 2lb 1oz which, considering how early he came, was a strong weight.
“He was born in Colchester Hospital but he was taken straight away from us – we didn’t even manage to get a cuddle.
“It wasn’t until he was five hours old that we got to meet our son.
“Although it broke our hearts we knew it was because the neonatal team were working so hard to give our little man the best fighting chance, so he could be transferred to The Rosie Hospital for life-saving treatment.”
When Albie arrived at Cambridge he was extremely fragile, and was intubated to help him breathe.
As parents we watched our tiny son fight for every single breath
“Ut seemed like he was getting better, so much so that the doctors decided he was ready to be extubated and put on a ventilator.
“But Albie stopped breathing, as we stood there watching the nightmare unfold right in front of our eyes.”
“This wouldn’t be the last time we saw this happen.
Albie stopped breathing suddenly a lot, and as any parent with a seriously ill child in hospital will know, the sound of the emergency call is the worst.
“Everything can be all calm and cool one minute then all of a sudden machines start bleeping, the emergency call goes and the next thing you know the incubator lid is up and an influx of doctors and nurses come running through the door.
“Thankfully though, half the time this happened, Albie would just open his eyes look around and start breathing again.”
At the time of Albie's stay in hospital we were provided with free accommodation by The Sick Children’s Trust, enabling them to stay by Albie’s side.
As the days and weeks went by, doctors noticed Albie’s temperature drop and his oxygen requirement increase drastically, leading to the decision to ventilate the struggling baby.
The parents were told Albie had chronic lung disease due to being born prematurely.
“The scariest moment of our whole journey was when the doctor replied that he didn’t know if he Albie would make it when we asked if we was going to lose our little boy
“Every day we woke up not knowing what the day ahead would bring.
“Having the support of The Sick Children’s Trust helped us enormously with coping with the uncertainty.
“We were staying just minutes from Albie’s side in the charity’s ‘Home from Home’ Chestnut House.
“Without this place we would not have coped physically, emotionally or financially.”
He was even put on steroids to help strengthen his lungs, but it was once the decision was made to put Albie on an oscillator that doctors began to see improvement
“We thought our son was dying, living the last few days of his life but then he fought just a little bit harder and finally everything was heading back in the right direction.
“After a very rough nine weeks in Cambridge, our little monkey had worked and fought so hard and he was weaned down on his oxygen.
“He had been on the radar to be transferred back to Colchester for a couple weeks and when the day finally arrived, it was the best.
“We were told in the morning they were ready to transfer Albie back and within a couple of hours Albie was on the road heading back to where he started his journey.
“We couldn’t thank everyone who has helped on this rollercoaster of a journey enough.”
We are eternally grateful as a family to The Sick Children’s Trust, who provided free accommodation to us while baby Albie was cared for at The Rosie Hospital, in Cambridge.
It costs The Sick Children’s Trust £30 to support a family for a night in one of its ten ‘Homes from Home’, relying entirely on voluntary donations to meet this cost.
“When a baby is seriously ill, it’s an incredibly difficult time and The Sick Children’s Trust helps ease some of the worries families have by keeping them together by their baby’s side!!!