Posted: July 5, 2018

Noah Clarey’s Story

Noah is our million dollar baby

Noah and sister on unit

On 2nd May 2014 Helens waters broke at 22 weeks pregnant. At the hospital we were told it was likely that Helen would go into labour within 48 hours and we would be handed our baby in a blanket. There would be nothing they could do to save the baby…

Our baby had other ideas…

For a further 4 weeks our baby managed to stay safe inside Helen.  After twice weekly visits to the hospital and steroid injections, Helen finally went in to labour on 28th May at 26 weeks pregnant. We were transferred to the RVI by blue light ambulance…

Noah was born at 13.24 weighing 990g (2lb2) that’s less than a bag of sugar to you and me.

He cried immediately, he was cared for initially by a team of Neonatal specialists and was quickly whisked away to Neonatal Intensive Care. It was several tense hours later before we could see him.

Noah and sister at homeInitially Noah was doing extremely well, he came off his ventilator after 3 days and onto a machine called C-Pap which assisted his breathing, he needed caffeine daily to help him remember to breathe, he continued to be on this for 5 weeks when it was discovered he had a duct in his heart that had not closed, this is common in premature babies and causes the baby to require high amounts of oxygen.  After several discussions it was decided that Noah needed surgery on his heart to close this duct. This surgery was to take place in the children’s heart centre based at the Freeman hospital. Weighing just 3lb Noah was transferred by ambulance to the Freeman and had his surgery.  We were told there was a possibility that he may not survive this surgery but in order to progress he would have to have the operation. It was the scariest hour of our lives, but Noah came out fighting. He was quickly transferred back to the RVI.

After a rocky week post-surgery Noah continued to progress.  He soon became strong enough to go onto oxygen and did not need any further help with his breathing.  Towards the end of his stay in hospital he was there to be fattened up. He was finally discharged on 1st September 2014 after 13 weeks and 5 days in hospital. 1 day before his due date weighing 6lb13.

Throughout his time in hospital Noah had 3 blood transfusions, copious amounts of antibiotics for suspected infections and heart surgery.

Because of his size Noah needed specialist equipment that is not supplied on the NHS, such as nappies, dummies, clothes, breast feeding equipment, breast pumps, special cushions for support, physiotherapy – the list goes on. Without the help of Tiny Lives, all babies in Special Care would not do as well and there certainly would not be as many success stories as there are.

The average cost of keeping a premature baby in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and all of the equipment, staff, and medicine etc. costs around £500,000. ($750,000).

Noah is our million dollar baby. We cannot thank the staff of RVI, UHND and FRH and Tiny Lives enough.

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