Posted: July 9, 2018

Isla Helen Kealey’s Story

Isla, our fighter.

Isla Kealey 2 Isla Kealey 1 Isla Kealey 3

I was admitted to the RVI on the 7th November 2011 where I stayed for a week, as I was having contractions.  I was discharged after they settled and no cause was found, however after bleeding and more contractions I was readmitted a few days later. I suffered pain and bleeding for almost 4 weeks and after many tests, ultrasounds and an MRI it was suspected that I had a very rare abdominal pregnancy and it was serious.

I was 27 weeks and 3 days when it was decided after a heavy bleed and the placenta failing that I was to be taken to theatre not knowing whether I or my baby girl would survive. I’d previously had an endometrial ablation and hormone injections to bring on the menopause so it was all a shock.  After approx. 5 hours I came around from the anaesthetic to be told luckily it wasn’t abdominal but it was serious and also we had a beautiful baby girl weighing 2lb 1oz, Isla Helen Kealey, and she was in the Neonatal Unit on a ventilator.

After a while I was taken to see her on my bed, I couldn’t believe how tiny she was. I was very scared with all the machines but the staff are absolutely brilliant and explained things to me.  They put you at ease at such a difficult time they encourage you to touch your baby even though they look so fragile, from that moment as well as bonding with my gorgeous girl I bonded with the staff. They were fabulous, I remember Carol and Ally – they were superb if there was anything I wasn’t sure about they’d tell me and they never hid anything, but also reassured me. Staff would help me back to the Ward when I couldn’t walk and ring the ward to update me on her care if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have coped.

When I was discharged it was heart-breaking leaving Isla, but I called day and night. I could ring at 2am and they were always at the end of the phone putting me at ease.

Isla was born on the 4th December and was discharged to Durham on New Year’s Eve and through that time she had 2 pulmonary hemorrhages, which were devastating but she is a true fighter and without the team she wouldn’t be here today. They are very special, on Christmas Day my other children got selection boxes, cards with Isla’s footprint on and on my daughter’s birthday she received another handmade card, they never left my other children out and involved us all in Islas care.

We can’t thank them enough for what they have done as well as everyone else involved in our care we have a lot of memories and a lot of keepsakes.

Isla is doing well now she is 30 weeks and weighs 12lb she’s doing fabulous! Thank you to all the staff at the Special Care Baby Unit and Tiny Lives!

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