Gestation: 28 + 3
Dates on Unit: 19th April – 7th June
Casper’s Mam, Tamzyn kindly shares Casper’s story with us below.
‘I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. The blood flow between the placenta and baby was depleting and I was showing signs of HELLP syndrome, so I was taken for an emergency c-section on Monday night. Then at 1:03am on the 19th of April weighing 790g, Casper was born. He was wheeled passed me so I could see him and touch his hand then taken to the NICU. We first got to see him properly that morning in Bay 7 which is where he stayed in the red unit. We were given a tiny lives welcome pack with our mini boo’s which helped me a lot when I was discharged from hospital myself as it meant I could always have a part of him with me.’
‘The team in ward 35 were amazing and helped us every day to bond with Casper encouraging kangaroo care and supporting me with expressing milk for him. Casper’s time on the ward had its ups and downs he had a blood transfusion and was on and off the ventilator a lot. He had a slight bleed on his brain as well as a ventricular septal defect in his heart, thankfully over time this began to close, and we avoided surgery. On the 19th of May Casper had been on the cpap for a while and we were moved into bay 3 on the blue unit. It was scary at first as the nurses were always in the room but not constantly watching over him and his sats.’
‘This did however mean we could get more hands on with Casper’s care, doing nappy changes as usual but being able to change his bedding, bringing our own muslins in meant his incubator was a little more personalised. Testing his feeding tube, giving his medication through his tube. Then once he came off the cpap and onto the low flow machine we could also get him in and out of the incubator ourselves.’
‘These little things help us feel more bonded and also gave us hope that home was getting closer. On the 7th of June Casper was transferred to NSECH hospital which was closer to home for us, and they carried on support with breast feeding until Casper was allowed to be discharged on 28th of June. We are currently weaning him off oxygen at home but otherwise he is a happy, healthy, growing baby boy. All the amazing teams in both hospitals kept our spirits up throughout our special care journey and I could not thank the amazing staff on ward 35 enough for the hard work they have do.’
How did Tiny Lives impact your time on the unit?
‘The welcome pack with our MiniBoo’s was so lovely to have. The Mini Boo meant I could always have something that not only helped Casper with scent but also helped as a comfort for me. Also the book we got to write down our journey with the milestone cards that are catered to the NICU journey. Another massive help was the funding tiny lives provided for parking passes. As travelling every day sometimes more than once a day and not having the costly parking fees helps a lot more than people think it would. We also appreciated the help and support of the counsellors as they helped us realise that to help Casper we had to look after us too and helped take away the guilt of not being able to stay with him 24/7 as it was something that really got us down.’