My son, Oliver Spear, was born 14 weeks early, at 26 weeks at our local hospital, East Surrey, but because he was under 28 weeks gestation, he was transferred to St Peter’s.
He was doing extremely well there but one morning when my mum and I went in to see him everything changed. He was back on a ventilator and we was told he needed to go to St George’s hospital. Unfortunately, he had got a bowel infection and had to have surgery after a few days of antibiotics. It was a horrible time but the staff there were very nice, supportive and caring. Half way through his surgery Mrs Parker, his surgeon came to speak to us and told us that only 25% of his bowel wasn’t infected or dead and that he was very lucky as if it was less she may not have been able to do anything for him.
He recovered well and had a stoma for about 4 months and throughout those 4 months he had surgery to have a Broviac line put in place as his long line kept getting infected. He had a lot of back and forths from ICU and HDU but once he had is stoma reversal he started doing very well within a week was able to come off oxygen, so we would joke saying that he really didn’t like his stoma!
I am so grateful to St George’s hospital for being able to help and look after my son. St George’s started to feel like a second home to me, staying around the hospital then finally getting a room in Ronald McDonald House. Also, while we were there we became great friends with some of the other mums going through similar things. They were always so supportive, especially with me as I was only 16 at the time. We would also be able to joke around and make us all laugh as well as having a good support system. The nurses were always very talkative, keeping me updated about how Olliver was doing and just talking about random things to make the parents and families feel well cared for, as well as the babies.
On the 11th of June we were then transferred to Brighton Hospital where Oliver ended up having yet another operation on his bowel and he still has ongoing care today at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Brighton. We are hoping to be home in a few months time and that we can then make a visit to see all the wonderful staff that looked after us while at the neonatal unit at St George’s and visit Ronald McDonald House too!
Vicky Spear, Oliver’s mum