In The Beginning

When Olivia was 40 hours old, at approximately 7pm on August the 28th, she suffered a cardiac arrest. She was resuscitated after fifteen minutes but suffered two further arrests that night. Critically ill, she was transferred to Chelsea & Westminster hospital neonatal intensive care until where she was expected to die before morning.  Against the odds she survived several days.  After a further 48 hours the doctors felt she was trying to breathe for herself and we made a decision to remove her breathing tube. Once again her life was in danger but over the subsequent hours it became obvious that she would live, for now. She came out of intensive care and was transferred to a high dependency unit where she remained for a couple of weeks.

Following an MRI scan to asses the damage some clear salient facts were established. Olivia was a very broken baby who had suffered severe brain damage and would be unlikely to walk, talk, neurologically develop or even smile. She  would also be at risk of sudden death and her quality of life would be massively diminished.

At around three weeks old she was transferred back to West Middlesex hospitals’ special care baby unit where she progressed from being tube fed to entirely bottle feeding. At five and a half weeks old the doctors removed her feeding tube and sent her home with us to start our lives together. This discharge was short lived as within 48 hours she had been readmitted following a spell of vomiting. Second time lucky at six weeks old she came home.

What happened to Olivia is a tragedy and how she survived such an acute episode is a mystery to us. It would seem she has a fighting spirit; however it is devastating that her brain, and subsequently her body will fail her.

%d bloggers like this: