Posted: July 10, 2018

Jack Francis’ Story

Our beautiful little miracle.

Jack Hodgson 1 Jack Hodgson 3 Jack Hodgson 6

On Thursday 17 May 2007 I went to a routine antenatal check up, where my blood pressure was found to be dangerously high. I was admitted to my local hospital in Whitehaven, Cumbria where my blood pressure kept going up and down like a yo-yo. It was decided that I needed to have an injection of steroids to help my baby (I was 26 weeks + 3 days), but because my blood pressure was so unstable so early in my pregnancy they transferred me to the RVI.

I arrived at the RVI at 3am on Friday 18 May, where I received another steroid injection. The following day I felt fine but my blood pressure was still too high. By Sunday I felt a little unwell after I had my breakfast. I put it down to the fresh orange juice but then the headache, stomach pains and sickness started. By teatime I felt OK again, so I told my husband to go home and get some clean clothes etc. He didn’t leave until after 11 pm so the roads would be quiet. Within an hour of my husband Kevin leaving things started to go very wrong. I started with Pre-eclampsia which then developed into HELLP syndrome (this is a condition that attacks your vital organs and your body goes into shut down mode).

Just as Kevin was about to turn down our road he received a phone call to say that they where taking me for an emergency Caesarean section. At 2.18am on Monday 21 May our beautiful little miracle Jack Francis arrived weighting 1lb 8 oz at 27 weeks.

He was placed in a rosti bag and whisked to Ward 35 Neonatal Unit. Jack was unable to breathe for himself and needed to be put on a ventilator. On his first day a lovely lady called Joan Loveday looked after our beautiful boy.

After a few days Jack began to show his grit and determination; he began fighting the ventilator so they tried Jack on CPAP and he managed for about 12 hours before becoming very tired and needed to be placed back on the ventilator. On Friday 25 May I finally got to see our little boy!!!

This is when Jack’s rollercoaster journey began. On a daily basis Jack had a team of dedicated consultants, doctors, nurses, family and friends to care for him and us. The teams give Jack the best support and care you can imagine and took time to explain and discuss things with us.

Jack had a lot of ups and downs! He developed infections and became very unwell, but with the correct care and attention Jack started to improve bit by bit. He came off the ventilator onto BiPAP and eventually got onto CPAP at the beginning of July. After a few more ups and downs he started on Vapotherm and did really well.

By the 2nd August we were in the Blue area and Jack was on low flow oxygen. For the first time we could finally see the road home. On the 9th August Jack was transferred back to our local hospital in Whitehaven and on the 14th August we got the best news yet… we could take our little miracle home and be a real family!

Jack celebrated his first birthday on 21 May 2008. He is a happy little man, full of smiles and a very cheeky character. We are so lucky! Every night myself and Kevin look at our little miracle asleep in his cot and thank the staff at the RVI for our perfect little family. We know that without them and Tiny Lives our story wouldn’t have had a happy ending.

Thank you love Kevin, Antonia and our little miracle Jack x

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