The Dad’s Team is made up of Dads who have all been through the Neonatal journey on Ward 35, and who volunteer their time to support Dads who are currently on the Ward. They’re a friendly bunch, so don’t be afraid to get in touch!
They also have a closed Facebook page for extra support and a mobile number, which you can call at any time – 07305869344 (please leave a message and one of the Dads Team volunteers will aim to get back to you within 48hrs).
If you’re interested in becoming a Peer Support Volunteer for the Dad’s Team, you can join the waiting list here.
Steve’s daughter Phoebe was in Ward 35 from March – May 2015. Phoebe was born at 29 weeks, weighing 2lbs. Neonatal issues experienced included hospital transfers (RVI to North Tees and return journey), a bleed on the brain, blood transfusions and ‘flu. Phoebe had a seven week stay in SCBU.
I am the proud Dad of Josh who was born in 1995. Josh was born 10 weeks early and had serious respiratory illness for the first few weeks of his life and suffered from asthma for much of his early childhood. After 6 weeks on Ward 35 we took Josh home and slowly, surely he grew stronger and developed into the fine young man that he is today. He has completed the Great North Run and is a member of Putney Rowing Club in London. I remember all too clearly the emotional rollercoaster of Josh’s time on Ward 35, it is a tough time for parents.
My son is Jamie Brown, he was born at 29 weeks in 2016, at 2lbs8oz. He was on the Red Area for two weeks, before being transferred to Cramlington until he was able to come home. He is now doing remarkably well.
On the 7th June 2018, my son Elliot was born in the QE hospital by emergency C section. Elliot was born with sepsis and despite all the best efforts of the QE nurses and doctors, they couldn’t help him. He needed to be transferred to the RVI. My partner, however, was not allowed to come and had to stay at the QE till the next day.
Walking into the RVI Neonatal Unit, I was scared. I didn’t know what was going to happen and my baby was attached to loads of machines. It was the worst feeling of my life. However, as each day came and went, my baby got stronger and stronger and a different machine was taken away from him. After week in special care he was allowed to come home
Our third son George was born at 33 weeks weighing 3lbs 8oz. He was diagnosed with a rare oesophageal abnormality which required a major operation within his first 24 hours. We were in SCBU for 5 weeks, moving from Red through to Green. George is now thriving, along with his two older brothers and continues to amaze us every day.
My son Ethan was born at 32 weeks, after my wife Laura suffered with pre-eclampsia, over the festive period of 2020. This was sadly during the COVID pandemic, which made a difficult time even more challenging. Ethan was born by c-section on 30/12/2020, it was scary but exciting.
Laura and Ethan received fantastic care when on the ward. Laura even got a Christmas present. I had my 36th birthday in the January and actually got a card, written as if from Ethan. This made my day as I was sadly home alone for it!
I would like to share my experience of not only SCBU but a COVID pregnancy and birth. Meeting your little one in a mask, isn’t perfect but it’s still magical.