**********Please note this is a Team page attached to THREE fundraising pages for three amazing services, please click on each one (click on Caroline’s NAME not donate), read the story then choose which one you may like to donate to. I know it is very confusing but the only way i could set up! Thank you*********
1 year ago a little boy called Jasper Benedict was born at 7:30pm on 12th December 2020.
We changed Jasper's middle name from Henry to Benedict because it means 'Blessed' and we are truly blessed.
3 hours after his birth, he suffered a Sudden Unexpected Postnatal Collapse (SUPC). This meant that he went from happy, feeding newborn to lifeless, floppy and blue in a matter of seconds.
Following 3 x rounds of CPR and haemorrhaging on the lungs, 48 minutes later, they managed to stabilise him to take him down to NICU. A mix of pure luck of being at the exact spot we were in at the right time (we'd been brought into the hospital as a precaution for a post-natal mother issue) and a ward that by chance on a Saturday night had two Registrars on duty and an amazing, amazing Neonatal and midwifery team is why Jasper is alive now. He then spent 10 days unconscious and on a ventilator and morphine and steroids and 8 other drugs whilst we prayed and waited to meet him. Since then he has defied all expectations and he has hit all the 'normal' milestones and is a cheeky, stubborn baby whose favourite things are Alan (the cat), his brother and food. (probably in that order!)
We have been told it was likely due to an 'infection' - but likely we will never know why.
We are lucky. We are lucky about circumstance, location and expertise. North Middlesex, Homerton, GOSH, Chelsea & Westminster and Kings all played key parts in saving our son. And at no financial cost for us because of the amazing service that is the NHS and the amazing people who work for it.
Nothing can express how truly grateful we are. If you are considering a gift for Jasper's 1st birthday or just would like to donate to these amazing services and people, please consider sending a donation to the services who frankly saved his life. He would have left us that night without these incredible people.
(Multiple hospitals and services were involved in saving Jasper's life and each charity is on their relevant page)
The charities are:
- North Middlesex Hospital Charity
- Homerton Hospital Charity
- Barts hospital Charity (Neonatal Transport Service London)
'Sudden unexpected postnatal collapse (SUPC) in the days and hours after birth occurs in 0.03-
0.08/1000 livebirths (2-13) with an incidence in the first twelve hours of 1 in 20,000 live births within
the United Kingdom (14). There is significant mortality and long-term neuromorbidity associated with such collapse.'
North Middlesex Hospital Story
We went through hell like so many parents. The neonatal team / midwifery team held our hearts. We were in the depths of covid and they showed us more affection and care than they really were allowed to because they were human and they were wonderful. They found us a private room to recover from the shock of our baby collapsing and almost dying and they did everything to reassure Caroline she had done nothing to cause this and reassure Greg they were there to look after him also. They were quite literally heroes and we love them for every minute of care they gave us through that horrendous period.
When Jasper returned on Christmas Eve they treated him like a celebrity, while they had to keep to COVID rules that had intensified by then. They let us have a photo with him together on Christmas day and when it came to leaving on New Years Eve, a wonderful Junior Dr spent hours on the phone with GOSH to get some results so I could try breastfeeding before we left.
Since we left Dr Singh, his consultant, has been there for us completely. No question too small and no worry brushed aside.
Homerton Hospital Story
While North Middlesex Hospital originally saved Jasper, the Homerton also saved him and were the hospital that made him better - beyond our wildest dreams.
He was critical and he was lucky he made the journey early that morning.
The drs, nurses, midwives and staff will always have a special place in our hearts.
A NICU nurse called Charlotte, especially, will never be forgotten in our house. She stayed by his cot every day...she came in on a day off to continue his care until he wasn't 'critical' - above and beyond and at no cost to us.
We found out the NICU are donating for the following:
- Resus trolleys and bag
- Zakky hands and gel cushions
- Refurbish the breast expressing/feeding room
- Refurbish the parents rooms
We would in particular love to help the expressing/feeding room and the parents rooms.
Caroline arrived uncertain Jasper would be alive to be fed, let alone breastfeed and ultimately chose to start expressing partly with hope but thinking the least she could do was donate to another sick baby.
While a private bay with a comfy chair to binge watch Below Deck with the best machines available, its a lonely place for the mums on NICU while hearing many tears heard from other mums and the occasional stories shared on good days, it would be amazing if it could feel more homely for them.
We were also beyond lucky to have a room there for us to stay in so we didn't have to leave our baby but with stained floors and broken curtains (and one of the rooms used for storage) we would love to help make these rooms more comfortable for grief stricken parents and mums recovering postnatally from birth....along with a door that shuts and locks!!
Neonatal Transfer Service London (NTS)
Barts Charity also fundraise the Neonatal Transfer Service London (NTS), they can't be forgotten as key to the fact Jasper is with us now.
When we were told Jasper would be transferred I naively thought a 'simple' ambulance ride...which couldn't be further from the truth. They put him in an incredible moving hospital with all life support needed and then also onto a cold mat that reduced his temperature to save his brain from damage. They succeeded.
I can't do justice to what they do but here it is from their website. They left us one of their storks and it warmed our hearts. Even if you can knit one of those, it helps.
'The ambulance that comes to collect your baby will be specially designed and equipped with the necessary specialist equipment to provide intensive care for sick newborn babies.
Your baby will be placed in an incubator to keep it warm, will have its heart rate, breathing and blood pressure monitored and may require equipment to help with breathing. This will ensure a safe transfer to the unit that will care for your baby.
The transport team will all be specialists in the care of sick, newborn babies and will include a doctor or an advanced neonatal nurse practitioner, a senior neonatal nurse, and a paramedic. They will all have undertaken specialist transport training.'
They also made such an effort to get Jasper back last minute to the North Middlesex on Christmas Eve and treated my hard worked for stash of Breast milk with as much care as Jasper to bring it to North Mid!
Any Knitting or Crochet fans, please please do use below as your next project.
It was almost 3 days in we discovered they had hung one from Jaspers machines and it was truly heartwarming. To think someone out there had made this for him. A gift no matter what we could keep and use to share his story.