How can you mend a broken heart…and lungs? (part 2)


I wake crying, to find my dad is holding my hand telling me he loves me and everything is o.k, my mother sat next to him glaring at him (recently seperated and unable to stay in the same room together…even then).

The Hoarders mum is stood at the doorway with my baby brother. This is wrong, this is so wrong. A registrar comes in to talk to the Hoarder and me.

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome. She is very ill. They are unable to suction all the Meconium from her lungs as it is too deep and sticking one of her lungs together. She needs ECMO – basically a heart and lung bypass. Without this she has 50/50% chance of surviving. With it her chances increase to 80%.

I will never forget this conversation.

This can’t be happening

Another problem. There are no beds at the Freeman Hospital (They are planning on closing this unit! FFS!) . We have a choice of Edinburgh or Leicester as they are the closest of the four ECMO centre’s, but we must decide now so they can book the bed and the air ambulance.  We have family in Leicester; they can meet her there so she is not alone.

This can’t be happening.

I am taken to theatre to have a drain fitted for a haematoma (an internal pocket of blood) I have to stay here while my baby is flown to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester at 8pm that evening.

This can’t be happening

In the recovery room I am handed a photo of my big beautiful girl. I am told she weighs just under 9lb!

What if this was the last time I saw her?

She is covered in tubes. I am told they had to sedate her as she kept pulling the tubes out and fighting the doctors.

What a clever girl.

I’m crying now, what if this photo is the last time I see my baby?

This can’t be happening.

Some nurses come in and start moving my bed; they are taking me, bed and all, to see my daughter. Every member of both our families are there in the special care ward. The room is cleared to get me and my bed into the tiny space between the incubators where my baby is. She looks like a giant next to all the premature babies. I wish I could reach out and wake her up.

It wasn’t meant to be like this.

I’m shown to my private room, so I don’t have to be with the mummies and their new tiny babies. I can still hear them and I’m easily forgotten in there.  My colleague from work is here with her new baby girl somewhere. I wonder how she is doing.

At 8pm I go to say goodbye to my new big Beautiful girl. I meet the wonderful Wendy who will become my daughter’s first best friend. She assures me she will look after her and will be fine in the helicopter.

A picture of Eloise's transport

My dad found this pic for me

The hoarder puts a hand on my shoulder, us both crying as we watch Wendy and two air paramedics take our baby  away.

I cry all night. At 7am I wait for the nurses to come so I can discharge myself, then her Daddy and I can race to her bedside. I brace myself for what I find there.

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